(photo credit: FIBA EUROPE)
Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Bnei Hasharon on Sunday night in a direct battle for
second place in the BSL.
Maccabi Tel Aviv has already sewn up first
position, improving to a record of 21-1 on Thursday with an 80-72 victory over
Maccabi Rishon Lezion in a game brought forward to allow the yellow-and-blue to
prepare for the start of its Euroleague quarterfinal playoff series against Caja
Laboral Vitoria on Tuesday.
However, Jerusalem, Bnei Hasharon and Hapoel
Gilboa/Galil look set to fight for the runner-up position in the regular season
until the very end of the campaign.
Sunday’s showdown could go a long way
to deciding which team enters the quarterfinal playoffs in second
Jerusalem and Bnei Hasharon, each with a 13-8 record, split their
first two meetings of the season and the winner of Sunday’s encounter will not
only go one game ahead of its rival, but will also own the tiebreaker should the
sides finish the regular season tied.
Hapoel has grown in confidence in
recent weeks, winning three of four games, scoring over 100 points in each of
But Bnei Hasharon has also played well recently, winning
its last seven games against opponents not named Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Sunday, Gilboa, which is a game back of second place with a 12-9 record, hosts
Ironi Ashkelon, while Maccabi Haifa visits Barak Netanya in a crucial encounter
in the battle against relegation.
On Saturday, Hapoel Holon was thrashed
91-51 by Maccabi Ashdod in one of the worst offensive displays in the BSL in the
last 20 years.
The financially crumbling Holon was one of the stories of
the league after somehow winning four of five game.
But last week it was
crushed by 34 points by Jerusalem and on Saturday it hit just 13-of-56
field-goal attempts (23 percent) and never stood a chance after being outscored
26-8 in the first period.
New Ashdod signing Oliver Lafayette scored 26
points, with Moran Rot netting 15 points for Holon.