Mac TA uses 17-0 run to coast past Rishon

Gilboa/Galil upsets Jerusalem • Ness Ziona downs Nahariya • Holon handles Eilat.

MACCABI TEL AVIV coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos has the yellow-and-blue in prime form ahead of Thursday’s State Cup semifinal vs Maccabi Rishon Lezion.  (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
MACCABI TEL AVIV coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos has the yellow-and-blue in prime form ahead of Thursday’s State Cup semifinal vs Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Just ahead of Thursday’s Israel State Cup semifinal duels between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Holon, as well as Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Rishon Lezion, all four teams were in action in Israel Basketball League action.
Maccabi Tel Aviv wiped out Maccabi Rishon Lezion 105-77 to win a fourth game over the past week. Yovel Zoosman and Scottie Wilbekin put their mark on the game, as the yellow-and-blue ran off a 17-0 run to end the third quarter to cruise to the win after the score to that point was a relatively close 58-47.
Zoosman led Maccabi with 17 points, Wilbekin added 16 points, while John DiBartolomeo, Dragan Bender and Ante Zizic each scored 12 points in the win. Trey Lewis was the Rishon high scorer with 15 points as Golan Gutt and Darryl Monroe added 13 points each in the loss.
“I want to congratulate the players for their level of concentration and level of energy that they brought for this game,” said a content Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos. “It’s not easy to play so many games in just a few days, but everyone was mentally ready and we split the time appropriately.”
Zoosman spoke about the recent streak of wins and what that has done for the team since the defeat to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
“I believe that these wins are giving us confidence after falling to Gilboa. After that loss we had to react and adjust. We don’t want to accept any loss in league play.”
Rishon coach Guy Goodes didn’t dwell on the defeat.
“The game wasn’t competitive and now we are looking forward to Thursday’s cup game. Maccabi has really destroyed every team in its way the past few games while for us the game against Jerusalem in the State Cup is the most important game of the week.”
Up in the Galilee, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil downed Hapoel Jerusalem 81-75 as Yotam Hanochi starred for Avishay Gordon’s squad, which held the Reds to just 11 points in the third quarter to notch the narrow conquest.
Hanochi ended up with 19 points, Isaiah Cousins added 16, Joe Thomasson scored 13 points and Kerry Blackshear chalked up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Suleiman Braimoh scored 16 points while Tamir Blatt and Malcolm Hill added 14 points in the loss.
Hanochi spoke about the victory following the contest.
“I’m trying to enjoy every day. I felt good before the game and I came in very well prepared. I am focused on improving every day and I’ve bene putting in a lot of work on a personal level and as well as with the team.”
Elsewhere, Ness Ziona just got by Ironi Nahariya 76-71 in a hard-fought battle in a back-and-forth game at Lev Hamoshava.
The northerners held a 67-62 lead with under four minutes to play, but Jerome Meyinsse, Patrick Miller, Lior Carreira and Braian Angola each scored clutch baskets down the stretch to take the win.
Miller led the way with 22 points for Brad Greenberg’s team, Angola added 18 points, Carreira checked in with 12 points while Tal Dunne recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Or Leumi paced Shai Segalovich’s squad with 20 points and Michael Young scored 18 points in the loss.
Meanwhile, Hapoel Holon sunk Hapoel Eilat 83-77 at the Red Sea city ahead of the Israel State Cup semifinal match against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
CJ Harris led the way for Stefanos Dedas’s squad with 21 points, Tyrus McGee aded 19 points and Chris Johnson checked in with 17 points in the win.
Josh Nebo with 20 points and Casey Prather with 19 points paced Ariel Beit Halachmi’s team.
In an interesting twist, the Holon fans are attempting to raise 300,000 NIS in order to give the ability to their club to register five foreign players in time for the big clash with the yellow-and-blue on Thursday. The amount represents the fee to have five imports, just as Maccabi has had all season long in their lineup for Israeli games.