Raviv Limonad 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
As was the case with Hapoel Holon (2008) and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (2010) after
they snatched the BSL championship from the grasp of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi
Haifa also underwent a complete overhaul following its historic triumph last
Coach Brad Greenberg left for Hapoel Jerusalem, with only two
significant squad players, Donta Smith and Ido Kozikaro, returning for another
However, unlike Holon and Gilboa, Haifa is intent on challenging
the yellow-and- blue yet again this season, bringing in bright coaching prospect
Danny Franco and building a roster which has shown plenty of promise so
After humbling defeats to the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons and
Memphis Grizzlies in its pre-season US tour, Haifa suffered painful setbacks in
its Eurocup opener versus Unics Kazan and at Maccabi Tel Aviv in its first BSL
However, Haifa gave both Kazan and Maccabi a real run for their
money despite their far bigger budgets and finally claimed its first win of
2013/14 last Wednesday, beating MZT Skopje 86-83 in Eurocup action in
Besides the reliable Smith and Kozikaro, Haifa’s roster also
includes fervent playmaker Moran Roth, who is eager to prove his worth after a
frustrating season at Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Venezuelan David Cubillan sharing
the ball-handling responsibilities with the Israeli.
Randle and Uri Kukia give the team a strong foundation on the defensive end,
with Ike Ofoegbu so far looking like a steal on both ends of the
Dagan Yavzuri and Ben Rice ensure Franco has also got plenty of
fire power off the bench and the sky truly is the limit if everything falls into
place for the Greens the way it did last season.
First things first,
however, with Haifa hoping to get off the mark in the BSL when it hosts Maccabi
Ashdod on Sunday.
Ashdod stunned Hapoel Jerusalem at Malha Arena in its
opener, only to lose to Barak Netanya at home last week.
Bnei Herzliya on Sunday, while Holon visits Gilboa.
Also Sunday, Hapoel
Tel Aviv returns to Hadar Yosef Arena when it hosts Maccabi Rishon
Hapoel played its first home game of the season at Gan Ner after
being punished for the unruly behavior of its fans and will be desperate to
rebound from last week’s dramatic loss at Hapoel Eilat when it faces
On Monday, Eilat, which is the only team with a 2-0 record,
travels to Malha to face the 0-2 Jerusalem.
Also Monday, Ironi Ness Ziona
hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv.