David Logan and Demontez Stitt 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa survived scares to book their places in the
BSL semifinals on Thursday night, completing 3-0 sweeps in the
Hapoel Tel Aviv gave its vastly richer and more illustrious
cross-town rival a run for its money for a third straight game, but Maccabi eked
out yet another victory, winning 76-74 at Nokia Arena.
Maccabi awaits the
winner of the series between Barak Netanya and Hapoel Jerusalem, with Netanya
remaining alive with a 92-69 home win in Game 3 to cut the deficit to
Haifa defeated a feisty Hapoel Gilboa/Galil team 93-87 to advance to
the semis where it will play either Hapoel Eilat or Maccabi Rishon
Eilat took a 2-1 lead in the series on Thursday with a 69-67
Hapoel dominated the first half of Thursday’s Tel Aviv derby, taking
a 44- 38 gap into the break after leading by as many as 10 points. Hapoel’s
margin reached 10 points once more in the third quarter (50-40), but Maccabi
came back to lead by a single point (55-54) entering the fourth period and
maintained a slender cushion throughout the frame to secure its
Ricky Hickman led Maccabi with 20 points, with Shawn James
Brian Randle had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Hapoel, which
deserves every credit for its brave effort despite being swept.
the game off to a strong start, but a 9-0 Gilboa run gave the visitors the edge
(16-15) and there was very little to separate the teams in the remainder of the
first half, with the Greens taking a one-point lead (41-40) into the
The hosts increased their gap in the closing stages of the third
quarter to eight points (69-61), but Gilboa closed back within a single point
after scoring the first seven points of the fourth frame.
visitors could not complete the comeback, with Haifa hitting eight of eight free
throws in the final minute to clinch the win.
Pat Calathes was superb for
Haifa, ending the night with 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Paul Stoll
added 20 points for Brad Greenberg’s team, while Mitchell Watt had 17 points for
Eilat is one win away from booking a meeting with Haifa in the
semis after edging Rishon Lezion in Game 3.
A 14-2 Rishon run tied the
score at 46- 46, but the visitors couldn’t pull out the win after going
neck-and-neck with Eilat throughout the fourth period, with the hosts making
fewer mistakes in the final minute.
Ezequiel Skverer and Afik Nissim had
14 points each for Eilat, with Adrian Uter scoring 24 for Rishon, which hosts
Game 4 next week.
Netanya avoided elimination in emphatic fashion on
Thursday, crushing Jerusalem, which suffered from quarreling in its roster
during Game 3, and not for the first time this season.
Samardo Samuels and Courtney Fells exchanged heated words during a timeout and
had to be separated by teammates.
Deron Washington netted 25 points for
Netanya, with Marco Killingsworth finishing the game with 22 points and nine
Elishay Kadir had 17 points for Jerusalem, which can close out
the series at home next week, but will need to first get all its players back on
the same page.