(photo credit: Hapoel Jerusalem website)
After a tumultuous week off the court, Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Hapoel
Gilboa/Galil at Malha Arena on Sunday night, desperately seeking a victory to
rebound from last week’s thrashing at the hands of Maccabi Tel
Jerusalem guard Yuval Naimi is expected to play after a whirlwind
of rumors over the past week claiming his departure from the team was
The rift between Naimi and Hapoel management began exactly a
month ago when the guard’s father spoke out against the club following the
Eurocup qualifier against Belgacom Liege.
Kobi Naimi claimed Jerusalem
has set out to hurt his son because he refused to sign a new contract in the
Complicating matters even further is the fact that Naimi’s sister
is married to Hapoel chairman Danny Klein, pushing the falling-out between the
player and the club beyond the realm of sport.
Following Naimi’s father’s
outburst, the club decided to take back electrical appliances the player was
given as a benefit by Hapoel, with the removal van arriving at Naimi’s house
hours before last Sunday’s game against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
directorate met on Thursday night to discus Naimi’s future in Jerusalem, and
decided to try and work out the differences between the fanfavorite guard and
“Yuval is an excellent player and he is part of the team,”
Hapoel coach Oded Katash said after being updated on Thursday’s directorate
meeting. “I know Yuval wants to stay and succeed at the club. I see Yuval not
only ending this season at Hapoel, but also remaining at the club for far
Katash also has on-court matters to deal with after his team
fell to 1-2 on the season following the defeat at the Nokia Arena.
scored just 55 points against Maccabi last week and will be expecting a
significant improvement on offense against a Gilboa team which has won two
straight BSL games after losing its opener to the yellow-and-blue.
Sunday, Maccabi Haifa hosts Ironi Ashkelon and Hapoel Holon visits Maccabi
On Saturday, Bnei Hasharon fell to its first BSL defeat of the
season, losing 77-66 at Barak Netanya.
Netanya pulled ahead by outscoring
Bnei Hasharon 28- 15 in the second quarter and held on for an impressive
Elton Brown had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts with Adrian
Banks scoring 18.
Lee Nailon scored 17 points for Bnei Hasharon, which
lost its first game of the season.
Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Maccabi Rishon
Lezion on Monday.