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A near perfect night from Ironi Ramat Gan swingman Itai Lev relegated Ramat Hasharon from the BSL and renewed his team's battle for survival against Maccabi Givat Shmuel.
Lev scored a career-high 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting in just 21 minutes as Ramat Gan defeated Ramat Hasharon 83-73 in Matchday 29 on Thursday night. The result, combined with Givat Shmuel's 88-86 win over Elitzur Ashkelon, ended Ramat Hasharon's four-year stay in the top league.
Ramat Hasharon dropped to 7-20, while Givat Shmuel improved to 11-16 with three games to play, meaning that Mickey Berkowitz's squad will play in the National League next season. The 10th and 11th place teams at the end of the 30-game season get relegated.
Ramat Gan, which improved to 9-17, travels to face Givat Shmuel in Or Yehuda in a must-win game on Sunday.
On Thursday night, Frankie King added 18 and Kei Madison had 16 points and 15 rebounds for Ramat Gan, which won in coach Hanoch Mintz's first game on the sidelines.
Patrick Okafor had 20 and David Logan 17 for Ramat Hasharon, which shot a paltry 2-of-23 from beyond the arc.
Ramat Gan led by as many as 23 in the third quarter, before Ramat Hasharon scored 11 unanswered points to get back in the game.
However a Lev three-point play and a Jason Gardner three kept Ramat Gan ahead and ended Ramat Hasharon's BSL run.
Hapoel Jerusalem 82, Hapoel Tel Aviv 71
Jerusalem seemed in control from the start as it improved its BSL-best road record to 10-3. Tel Aviv, which upset Jerusalem last time the teams met at Nokia Arena, closed the gap numerous times throughout the second half, but each time the capital city hoopsters answered with a pair of baskets to preserve the lead.
Meir Tapiro led Jerusalem with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Roger Mason Jr. scored 16 and Erez Marckovitch added 15.
JeRon Roberts had 16 and Herve Lamizana 15 for Tel Aviv.
Hapoel Galil-Golan 104, Maccabi Rishon 85
Rishon lost its third straight game since upsetting perennial champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, but retained a comfortable lead in the playoff race thanks to Ashkelon's loss.
Lior Eliyahu led five Galil players in double figures with 21 points.
Galil put the game away with a 19-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to take an 85-62 lead as the remainder of the game became extended garbage time.Or Eitan scored 21 points in defeat.
Matchday 29 will draw to a close on Saturday night when Maccabi Tel Aviv travels to Bnei Hasharon.