After a string of impressive wins to open their respective Eurocup and BSL seasons, Hapoel Jerusalem was brought down to earth on Sunday night, suffering a tough 101-96 home overtime defeat to Hapoel Galil/Gilboa in local league play.
The team from the capital battled into a 14-point lead at half time, only to see Oded Katash's Galil side eat away at the gap throughout the second half to force OT, and then hold off the hosts in the extra five minutes.
It was a massive shock for the Jerusalem fans, who saw their team win every single home game in the BSL last season.
Point guard Jeremy Pargo was outstanding for Galil, scoring a stunning 36 points, while Yuval Naimi was the highest scorer for the home team, with 17 points.
"They played much better in the second half, you have to give them credit," Jerusalem coach Guy Goodes admitted. "We will make our share of mistakes as a new team," he added, reflecting on the dichotomy between Sunday's loss and the Eurocup qualifying victory over Roanne Basket on Wednesday.
The game was tight in the opening frame, but Jerusalem ran away with it in the second. Tre Simmons was responsible for much of a 49-35 half time advantage, bursting into life halfway through the period to score three straight three-pointers.
Galil, however, was clearly not interested in giving up. Pargo exploded in the second half, scoring 24 points in a magnificent display of aggression and athleticism.
Big man Brandon Hunter was one of the main reasons Jerusalem stayed in it until overtime, contributing 13 points as he made his presence felt.
But it was not enough for the hosts who couldn't deal with Pargo and Isiah Swan among others in the extra session.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv meanwhile, had a far easier time on Sunday, beating Ironi Nahariya 79-68 in preparation for Thursday's home Euroleague clash with CSKA Moscow.
Gal Mekel, who has hardly played for Pini Gershon's team in European play, stood out for Tel Aviv, scoring 13 points. And Polish international Maciej Lampe built on his strong performance in Thursday's Euroleague defeat to Vitoria, scoring 17 points for the hosts.
Tel Aviv took a 19-9 lead halfway through the first quarter, but Nahariya bounced back characteristically, and last season's champion was only held a three-point advantage at the end of the first 10 minutes (28-25).
The introduction of Guy Pnini helped Tel Aviv move into a 44-36 lead by half time and the yellow-and-blue held its advantage through to the end.
In other BSL action on Sunday, State Cup holder Hapoel Holon fell to its second successive league defeat, losing 86-74 at Ironi Ashkelon, while Netanya made it a perfect start to the season with a 100-83 win at Ironi Ramat Gan.
Dan Shamir's start as Bnei Hasharon coach went from bad to worse, with the team from Herzliya losing 86-69 at Hapoel Afula.
The second round of games will be completed on Monday when Maccabi Haifa hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion.