Confident Maccabi TA faces struggling Holon

Maccabi displays best performance of season in 92-61 thrashing of Siena, but has still got plenty of ground to make up in Top 16 Group F.

February 24, 2013 04:27
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Ricky Hickman

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Ricky Hickman 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Tel Aviv enters Sunday’s BSL encounter against Hapoel Holon at Nokia Arena brimming with new-found confidence after crushing Montepaschi Siena on Thursday to keep alive its lingering hopes in the Euroleague.

Maccabi displayed its best performance of the season in the 92-61 thrashing of Siena, but has still got plenty of ground to make up in Top 16 Group F, improving to 3-5.

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Sunday’s game against Holon, which was brought forward to the children-friendly time of 5:10pm for Purim, will not be of too much concern for Maccabi, which has won 14 straight league games.

However, Tel Aviv will want to gather more confidence against Holon, which has lost three of four games, ahead of Thursday’s crucial visit of Caja Laboral Vitoria.

“We got ourselves into this situation and now we need to do everything to get out of it,” said Yogev Ohayon, who scored 19 points against Siena.

“We had our backs against the wall versus Siena and we were unstoppable. We’ve got four more home games and two more contests on the road in the Top 16 so we are going to have to win at Nokia Arena and steal some victories away from home.”

Maccabi entered the game against Siena after one of its toughest weeks of the season, both on and off the court. The yellow-and-blue suffered a heartbreaking home-loss to Barcelona 10 days ago, avoided a league defeat to Hapoel Eilat by the skin of its teeth and saw the championship game moved from its home arena to Haifa’s Romema Arena following a unanimous vote by the BSL directorship.

Tel Aviv hoped to keep the league final at Nokia Arena for an eighth straight year, but after understanding that the rest of the chairmen in the BSL were intent on playing the title decider in Haifa, Maccabi’s Shimon Mizrahi also voted in favor of the decision.

Maccabi Haifa, which has now got an even greater incentive to reach the final, hosts Maccabi Ashdod in Romema on Monday, with Hapoel Jerusalem visiting Ironi Ashkelon.

On Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion hosts Bnei Herzliya, Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil plays Barak Netanya.

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