Hapoel Tel Aviv's Demontez Stitt.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After nine years, the dream finally turned into reality for Hapoel Tel
Hapoel had lost 12 consecutive derby games against Maccabi Tel Aviv
before Sunday and spent six years out of the BSL, being reconstructed by its
fans from scratch, before finally returning to the top flight this
The Reds entered Sunday’s showdown after losing seven of their
past nine games, but they stunned Maccabi 69-65 in Rishon Lezion for their first
win over the yellow-and-blue since thrashing it 96-71 at Ussishkin Arena in the
“We have been through some tough months and I’m really
emotional,” said Hapoel coach Erez Edelstein. “To beat Maccabi is something very
However, if we don’t defeat Holon next week we haven’t achieved
Sunday’s game went back and forth in the first half, with
Hapoel leading 15-9 after 10 minutes thanks to a 13-2 run.
Maccabi surge to end the first half saw the yellow-andblue take a 28-24
advantage into the break, but it was Hapoel which had a one-point edge (42- 41)
entering the final frame.
A Ricky Hickman three-pointer gave Maccabi a
five-point margin (59-54) with 3:50 remaining, but Hapoel scored 12 of the next
14 points to clinch a memorable win.
Young Israeli guard Bar Timor was
sensational for Hapoel, scoring 20 points, with Curtis Kelly adding 18 points
and nine rebounds.
Hickman scored 23 points for Maccabi, which saw its
15-game winning streak in the BSL snapped, but faces a far more important
encounter in the Euroleague at Fenerbahce Ulker on Thursday.
Sunday, Hapoel Eilat and Maccabi Haifa remained tied for second place in the
Eilat edged Barak Netanya 74- 72, while Haifa won 89-82 at
Scotty Hopson scored 18 points for Eilat after missing the
team’s past three games through injury, with Eli Holman adding 14 points and 13
Eyal Shulman had 19 points for Netanya.
Pat Calathes had
25 points and nine boards for Haifa, with Gel Mekel scoring 24.
Reynolds led Herzliya with 32 points.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon edged
Ironi Ashkelon 83-82.
Holon’s Jerome Dyson ended the game with 25 points.
After almost nine years in retirement, former Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Yoav
Saffar played three minutes for Holon.
Jarvis Hayes had 19 points for
Ashkelon, which has lost eight straight games.
Hapoel Jerusalem hosts
Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Monday.