Hapoel Tel Aviv’s struggles to start the season continued with a third straight loss in the BSL on Monday night, an 80-75 defeat at home to Ironi Nahariya.
Hapoel entered the campaign with high expectations, which only grew following a 16-point win over Ironi Ness Ziona in its opener. However, the Reds have gone downhill since, squandering a 22-point advantage on Monday to fall to 1-3.
Coach Oded Katash was once more given plenty to mull over, especially after his team capitulated in such embarrassing fashion against an underdog Nahariya side.
A 16-0 run saw Tel Aviv open an early 17-point gap (24-7), with the hosts leading by a record 40-18 midway through the second quarter following a Robert Rothbart three-pointer.
There seemed to be no way back for Nahariya, with Hapoel still ahead by 14 points (48-34) at the break. Nahariya continued to eat away at the deficit in the third frame, but Tel Aviv was still in control, holding a seven-point advantage (60-53) entering the final 10 minutes.
However, Hapoel couldn’t regroup and Nahariya completed its comeback with 1:50 minutes remaining following Gilbert Brown’s basket (72-71).