(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
BC Habika’a will have the dubious honor of facing Maccabi Tel Aviv in the BSL
quarterfinal playoffs after claiming a controversial 79-78 victory at Barak
Netanya on Thursday night to clinch the eighth and final playoff
Habika’a and Netanya entered their final regular season game tied
on a 9-14 record and the visitors looked to be in complete control after
outscoring the hosts 29-14 in the first period and maintaining a 17- point gap
(55-38) until midway through the third quarter.
However, Netanya came
back to tie the score at 78-78 with 0.8 seconds to play after Yehu Orland scored
a desperation three-pointer, only for the hosts to be called for a technical
foul after fans burst onto the floor in celebration.
Dion Dowell missed
his first free throw but scored his second and Habika’a secured a post-season
berth with its third straight win.
Frank Robinson had 20 points and nine
rebounds for Habika’a, while Adrian Banks scored 33 for Netanya, which lost for
the third time in four games and will now wrap up its season with two
meaningless encounters against its partners to the doldrums of the standings,
Bnei Hasharon and Maccabi Haifa.
Two of the four playoff series’ are now
set, with Hapoel Gilboa/Galil to also play Maccabi Ashdod.
remaining matchups will be determined on Sunday, with Hapoel Jerusalem needing
to defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv in its final regular season game and for Maccabi
Rishon Lezion to lose at home to Ashkelon to climb to third place and face
Ashkelon in the quarters.
Any other combination of results will see
Jerusalem play Hapoel Holon in the playoffs, while Rishon will come up against
Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 22-2 on Thursday with a
comfortable 88-69 win over Ashkelon at Nokia Arena.
Lior Eliyahu had 20
points for Maccabi, while Marco Killingsworth netted 22 for
Also Thursday, Holon climbed to third, but only until Sunday
after beating Gilboa 76-74.
Bryant Dunston and Tasmin Mitchell had 15
points each for Holon, which will drop to fifth regardless of Sunday’s results,
with Romeo Travis scoring 20 for Gilboa.
Gilboa will be in action once
more on Saturday night when it faces Hapoel Tel Aviv of the National League in
the semifinals of the Balkan League Final Four in Gan Ner.
Hapoel entered the 12-team league, which consists of clubs from Bosnia, Serbia,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Montenegro, hoping to generate extra
income by playing twice a week regularly.
Gilboa advanced to the Final
Four at its home arena by winning regular season Group A with a 9-1
Tel Aviv, which is fighting for promotion to the BSL in the
second division playoffs, beat Bulgaria’s BC Rilski Sportist 2-1 in its bestof-
three quarterfinal playoff series after finishing regular season Group B in
second place with an 8-2 record.
In the second semi on Saturday, BC
Levski of Bulgaria faces defending champion KK Feni Industries of
The final will be played on Monday.
Maccabi Ashdod took a 1-0 lead over Elitzur Ramle in the women’s playoff finals,
recording a nervy 58-56 home win.
Tamera Young had 18 points and seven
rebounds for Ashdod, which is looking to avenge last season’s 3-0 defeat to
Ramle in the finals and complete a league and State Cup double.
Wright scored 13 points for the defending champion.