Hapoel JM 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Hapoel Jerusalem solidified its position as Maccabi Tel Aviv's primary challenger in the BSL as it had no problem securing a 115-94 victory over Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan at Malha Arena on Sunday night.
"We played well," said Jerusalem coach Dan Shamir. "I must mention our wonderful fans, which cheered along. Our recent win against Tel Aviv was a morale booster, but we have to produce in every game. We can play much better and must try to improve our consistency. I'm also happy with Horace Jenkins's positive start."
Galil-Golan showed up without starting power forward Omri Caspi. The big man is currently participating in the "Nike Hoops Challenge" being held in Memphis, Tennessee. The promising youngster will battle it out against some of the best American talent, which could pave his way to the NBA.
Without his primary weapon in the paint, Galil coach Oded Katash opted for run-and-gun tactics. Galil-Golan's game plan worked in the first period, as Yogev Ohayon connected twice from beyond the arc. However, Jerusalem's sixth man, Jenkins, powered the hosts back into the game and Jerusalem took a comfortable 62-47 lead into halftime.
The hosts kept up the tempo in the second half, curbed Galil's offense and forced its players to commit numerous turnovers.
Jerusalem extended its lead to 91-71 midway into the final period and sailed to the final buzzer.
Katash decided to throw in the towel toward the end and gave his substitutes some valuable playing time.
Jenkins carried over his excellent form from Thursday's win over Maccabi Tel Aviv and finished with 19 points and eight assists. Terrence Morris provided a spark from the bench, as he registered 26 points and 10 rebounds. Mario Austin also dominated in the paint and scored 16 points.
Bnei Hasharon 109,Ironi Nahariya 86
Nahariya got off to a good start and raced to a 15-10 lead in the opening minutes thanks to superb physical play by center Juan Mendez.
The visitors from the North adopted a clever percentage game plan, moving the ball freely and creating open shots for the team's guards.
However, Bnei Hasharon's Cookie Blecher got his shot to fall toward the end of the first period and repeatedly took the ball to the rim with ease. Lee Nailon also recovered from a slow start and started to drain his trademark mid-range jumper, leading Bnei Hasharon to an overwhelming 63-39 advantage at the end of the second period.
Blecher continued to punish Nahariya's defense in the second half, which resulted in a miserable blowout loss. Mendez managed to chip in 30 points for the visitors, which was the team's only worthy contribution.
The star of the evening was Blecher, Bnei Hasharon's swingman, who exploded for 39 points, including seven three-pointers. Nailon contributed 18 points and four important boards.
Center Ousmane Cisse and sharpshooter Moshe Ohayon finished with 13 points each for the victorious hosts.