(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Eilat can clinch the No. 2 seed in the BSL playoffs with one game to
spare on Sunday night, but it will have to defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv to do
Eilat improved to 16-9, one game ahead of Maccabi Haifa in third
place, with its fourth win in five contests on Wednesday, beating Hapoel
Jerusalem 78-71 at Malha Arena.
Oded Katash’s side was edged 72-70 by
Maccabi when the teams last met two months ago, and with a visit to Haifa to
come in its final regular season game next week, Eilat would like nothing more
than to secure the runners-up position at home on Sunday.
Eilat will need
to defeat Tel Aviv and for Haifa to lose at home to Maccabi Rishon Lezion to
render its final regular season game meaningless.
Both Haifa (15-10) and
Rishon (11-14) have lost their way in recent weeks. Haifa dropped to a 76-72
defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday for its third straight loss, while Rishon
fell to a fifth consecutive defeat, 83-61 to Barak Netanya.
Bnei Herzliya (8-16) can guarantee its BSL status for another year with a win at
Maccabi Ashdod (10-15).
Herzliya’s seven straight defeats combined with
rock-bottom Ironi Ashkelon’s (6- 19) win over Ashdod on Thursday, means that the
team from the Sharon has still not completely escaped the danger of
Ashkelon needs to win its final two games and for Herzliya to
lose its last three to avoid relegation. The two teams face off in the last game
of the regular season.
Ashkelon’s game at Hapoel Tel Aviv will be played
On Monday, Netanya (14- 11) can secure a place in the top
four and home-court advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs with a win against
Hapoel Jerusalem (12-12).
Also Monday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (12-12) can
book its place in the playoffs with a victory over Hapoel Holon.(11-14).