Hapoal Holon and Maccabi Tel Aviv 390.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv came back from 16 points down to defeat Hapoel Holon 82-77 on
Monday night and improve to 15-2 in the BSL this season.
miss at the start of the game, opening an early 24-8 gap. The hosts still led by
14 at the end of the first period (29-15), but a 9-0 start to the second quarter
brought Maccabi back within striking distance and predictably it was Tel Aviv
which held its composure the better of the two teams in the decisive moments to
clinch another tight league win, its sixth this season by five points or
“This was good preparation for the Euroleague series against
Panathinaikos as this was also a tough road game, although there will be 10
times more fans and noise in Greece,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, whose team
begins its best-of-five Euroleague quarterfinal series against the Greeks on
“I more or less expected this type of game. Holon is an
extremely well-coached side. I knew we would get off to a bad start as we were
still recovering from Saturday’s Adriatic League game in Croatia.”
Smith led Maccabi with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Keith Langford added
16 points and seven boards.
Tasmin Mitchell scored 23 for Holon, with Ron
Lewis netting 19 for Dan Shamir’s men, who had won five of their previous six
“It sucks to lose, but we had a pretty good day at the office and
we will learn from this,” Shamir said. “Maccabi has real depth and we
ended up losing by a hair’s breadth.”
Holon couldn’t have wished for a
better start on Monday, hitting all nine of its first two-point attempts to open
a 24-8 lead.
Lewis took his personal total to 10 points with the
three-point play that gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night and
Mitchell’s basket to end the first frame ensured Holon still had a significant
cushion (29-15) after 10 minutes.
Five straight points by Sofoklis
Schortsanitis as part of a 9-0 run saw Maccabi close to within five points
(29-24), but Holon still had the edge at halftime (43-40) and the game was still
up for grabs with 10 minutes to play, with Tel Aviv leading 63-61 after a tight
There was nothing to separate the teams with twoand- a-half
minutes remaining after a Richard Hendrix dunk tied the score at 76-76, but
Maccabi would eventually clinch the win thanks to its accuracy from the
free-throw line and superior rebounding.