Hapoel Holon 224.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Holon coach Danny Franco was hopeful his team can take another step forward and secure home-court advantage in the BSL playoffs after seeing it thrash Hapoel Jerusalem 90-69 on Monday night.
Holon (10-7) moved into a tie with Maccabi Haifa and Bnei Hasharon for third position in the BSL with its third straight victory, and is now well placed to clinch a top-4 position and home-court advantage for the playoffs.
Franco's team all but sealed Monday's win in the first six minutes of the contest, storming to a 17-point lead (23-6), from which Jerusalem had no answer.
"The first period was amazing," Franco said. "As our guys say: 'it's all about heart and being smart'. We're doing a superb job and playing the right way.
"Our initial goal was to finish in the top-8 and qualify for the playoffs, and with that pretty much completed, we now need to take another step forward."
Despite the heavy loss, Jerusalem coach Guy Goodes wasn't too upset with his team's performance.
"We trained all week without Omar Sneed and Travis Watson and that showed tonight," Goodes said. "It's very difficult for us to play without two dominant players and I can't be angry at the players."
Luis Flores led Holon with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds, with Deron Washngton adding 22 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Sharon Sasson scored 19 points for Jerusalem, which had to manage without the injured Watson, and with the fact that Sneed hadn't trained with the team all week.
A superb first quarter gave Holon a stranglehold on the encounter.
Jerusalem's defense was completely helpless right from the start with the hosts racing to the early 23-6 lead.
Washington ended the first frame with 16 points, hitting 7-of-9 shots, and his final basket of the period gave Holon a 35-17 margin after 10 minutes.
The visitors began the second stanza with a 12-0 run, capped by a Sasson three-pointer, bringing the team within six (35-29).
However, Holon answered with a 9-0 run of its own to extend the gap once more and despite scoring just 13 points in the entire period still led 48-35 at the break.
The second half was totally dominated by Holon, with Jerusalem never coming any closer than 12 points in a game it will quickly want to forget.