Maccabi Tel Aviv now has another reason to worry ahead of the upcoming season.
Arch rival Hapoel Jerusalem has assembled the last part of its backcourt by inking versatile playmaker Ed Cota on a two year contract worth some $700,000.
The reds have been active in the transfer market in the off-season, signing former Maccabi Givat Shmuel guard Timmy Bowers, Israeli sharpshooter Dror Hajaj and forward Jurica Golemac from Russian side Ural Great.
Jerusalem had a void to fill after Horace Jenkins moved to Turkish outfit Efes Pilsen, and addressed the need by signing the 30-year old Cota.
"I heard many good things about the club from Kelly McCarthy," the former University of North Carolina point guard revealed after the signing.
"It's a well known franchise in Europe and that's why I am glad to be joining them."
Cota served as a backup to Juan Carlos Navarro at Winterthur Barcelona last season, averaging 3.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
The experienced guard, known for his slick moves and sharp vision on court, has also played for Lithuanian Zalgiris Kaunas and Belgium side BC Oostende in his long and impressive European career.
Hapoel's rejuvination began early in the off-season when former Maccabi Tel Aviv assistant coach Dan Shamir joined Jerusalem as coach, replacing Erez Edelstein.