Maccabi Tel Aviv 88.
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv began this season the same way it finished the last as they walloped Hapoel Jerusalem at the Malha Arena 93-74 to win the Winner Cup Tournament. Last season ended with Maccabi beating Hapoel to win the league title.
Maccabi was led by Yotam Halperin with 21 points and tournament MVP David Bluthenthal, who hit five of six on three-point shots.
The atmosphere was electric as fans were almost hanging from the rafters of the sold-out arena. Both teams came out playing an up tempo offense, trading baskets for the first few minutes of the game. Halperin helped Tel Aviv to a 21-13 lead after the first quarter, scoring seven points including a three-pointer with five seconds remaining in the frame. Former Tel Aviv player Sharon Sasson supplied most of the Jerusalem offense with five points of his own.
Nikola Vujcic opened up the second quarter with three straight points for Maccabi and increased the Tel Aviv lead to11 (24-13).
An inspired Jamie Arnold, playing against his former club, rolled off seven points in a Jerusalem 13-0 run and Sasson's three-point play cut the Jerusalem deficit to two points (30-28).
But then a red hot Halperin, who finished off the half with 17 points, took charge and scored seven points of his own which was topped off by a beautiful three-pointer that gave Maccabi an eight point advantage (40-32). Two Derrick Sharp free throws gave Maccabi 44-32 lead going into the locker rooms at the half.
Timmy Bowers hit a nice lay up to begin the second half, but back to back Bluthethal three-pointers increased Maccabi's lead to 50-34. Maccabi increased its lead to 73-51.
Garbage time filled the rest of the game as Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised to the victory and put the domestic league and Euroleague on notice that it is ready for the new season
Hapoel Gilboa/Afula 83,
Ironi Nahariya 82
In a tightly fought contest, Hapoel Gilboa/Afula defeated Ironi Nahariya 83-82 to take third place in the Winner Cup Tournament. Jermaine Hall led all scorers with 18 points and hit the game winning shot with 3.6 seconds left on the clock. Avi Sukar had a chance to steal the win at the buzzer but his off balance attempt was off the mark. Tunji Awojobi and Gur Porat each had 14 points for Gilboa/Afula while Adrian Pledger led Nahariya with 17 points.
Doron back in Israel
Shay Doron made her debut for Elitzur Ramle on Thursday night, scoring five points in her team's 95-87 victory over Bnei Yehuda. Ramle, which was playing its first league game of the season, won the league and cup double last season.