Superb defensive play gave Hapoel Galil/Gilboa a well-earned 72-57 victory over Ironi Ashkelon in Gan Ner on Monday night, in the final game of the season-opening weekend.
A 15-1 run to start the second half put Galil in a commanding lead it would never come close to relinquishing.
"Our defense won us the game," Galil coach Oded Katash said. "We were ready and implemented what we had worked on in training."
Dagan Yavzuri was outstanding for Galil, leading all scorers with 20 points, hitting six of eight shots from beyond the arc. "This was undoubtedly the best game of my career," he said.
Jeremy Pargo added 15 points and seven assists, with Elishay Kadir contributing 14 points and six rebounds.
Omar Sneed led Ashkelon with 13 points.
"We didn't look good," Ashkelon coach Ariel Beit-Halchmi said. "We played poorly on both ends of the court. Galil deserves a lot of credit and we need to look forward to our next game."
Galil scored eight of the first nine points of the night, with Yavzuri's three-pointer opening an 8-1 lead. Kadir's basket extended Hapoel's margin to 13 points (19-6), and the hosts led 21-14 after 10 minutes.
Ashkelon began to find its range in the second quarter and Moran Rot's two points would complete the comeback, giving the visitors a 31-30 advantage.
Guni Izraeli's triple ensured Galil led at the break (35-34)but the 15-1 run at the beginning of the second half would open a comfortable gap. The hosts maintained their cushion for the remainder of the game, taking a 57-43 lead into the fourth quarter and cruising for the final 10 minutes.