maccabi derrick sharp.
(photo credit: AP)
After bidding farewell to its Euroleague campaign with a 9074 defeat to Barcelona on Thursday night, Maccabi Tel Aviv turns its full attention to regaining its BSL title on Sunday.
Maccabi, which lost the league title after 14 years of dominance last season, will be looking to claim its final six regular season games, starting Sunday against Ironi Ashkelon at the Nokia Arena, to make sure it enters the quarterfinal playoffs from first position.
"We shouldn't lose the championship. No one can take it away from us. Only we can give it away. It all depends on us," Maccabi coach Pini Gershon said after his team's Euroleague season came to an end on Thursday.
"Maccabi is the strongest club and will always have the best team."
Tel Aviv has won its last eight league games, but Ashkelon, who will be guided by new coach Robi Balinko for the first time on Sunday, will be boosted by the fact that Maccabi only barely defeated Maccabi Givat Shmuel last week.
Balinko was fired earlier this season from Ironi Ramat Gan and replaced Avner Yaor last week, becoming Ashkelon's third coach of the season.
Maccabi Haifa hosts Ironi Nahariya on Sunday, looking to rebound from last week's 22-point humbling at the hands of Hapoel Jerusalem.
Haifa was completely outplayed at the Malha Arena last week and will be facing a rejuvenated Nahariya side.
Nahariya may have been financially forced to release to Maccabi Tel Aviv two of its best players, Aaron McGhee and Raviv Limonad, but at least it has avoided a financial collapse and is entering Sunday's game on the back of a victory over Ironi Ramat Gan.
Also Sunday, Ramat Gan hosts Ironi Kiryat Ata, Maccabi Givat Shmuel visits Bnei Hasharon and Hapoel Galil/Gilboa hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem visits Hapoel Holon.