Matan Naor 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
National League leader Hapoel Tel Aviv will look to extend its unbeaten season
and register its second straight State Cup upset when it hosts Maccabi Haifa in
a quarterfinal showdown at Hadar Yosef Arena on Sunday evening.
holds a 13-0 record in Israel’s second basketball division, winning its games by
an average of 17.2 points. The fan-owned club stunned BSL side Hapoel Holon in
the last 16 of the cup, claiming a 93-85 victory despite only having two
foreigners on its roster due to National League regulations.
playing against a team which spends on one player more than we do on our entire
roster,” said Hapoel coach Sharon Avrahami ahead of the game, which sold out
within two hours. “We don’t fear any team and we believe we can win this
After losing six straight BSL games, Haifa replaced coach Elad
Hasin with his assistant Ami Nawi. The team won its first league game under its
new coach, but was back to losing ways against Ironi Ashkelon on Thursday, and
Nawi knows another defeat could see the team spiral into another
“We need to learn from our mistakes in the end of the game
against Ashkelon,” said Nawi, whose playing career is best remembered for his
time at Hapoel. “Tel Aviv has the size and the lineup of a BSL side and their
fans give them unbelievable energy.”
In Sunday’s other quarterfinals,
Maccabi Tel Aviv will be expected to advance to the last four with ease when it
hosts Ironi Ashkelon, with Hapoel Jerusalem also a firm favorite in its game
against Barak Netanya at Malha Arena.
The most evenly balanced game on
paper will take place in Ashdod, where the local Maccabi team hosts Hapoel