Hapoel Jerusalem held off a feisty Maccabi Haifa to claim an 84-79 victory on Thursday night to improve to 8-3 in the BSL and close to within a single game of leader Maccabi Tel Aviv.Jerusalem, which is tied with Hapoel Holon, pulled ahead in the closing minutes after a tight encounter and built on its progress to the State Cup semifinals, one day after the release of forward Austin Daye.Hapoel is looking to downsize its roster following its early exit from the Eurocup and center Alen Omic could be the next to be released after spending all of Thursday’s encounter on the bench.Ronald Roberts had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Jerusalem, with Lior Eliyahu contributing 16 points and seven boards.Oz Blayzer scored 16 for Haifa, which fell to 4-7.Earlier Thursday, Hapoel Eilat continued its recovery under coach Sharon Drucker, beating Ironi Ness Ziona 85-69 on the road. Coach Meir Tapiro was sacked after Eilat opened the season with five defeats from six games, but the team has since won four of five contests, with the past three victories coming under the guidance of Drucker.Eilat suffered a humbling 33-point loss to Maccabi Ashdod in the quarterfinals of the State Cup over the weekend, but bounced back against a struggling Ness Ziona, which dropped to a fifth defeat in the past six games. A 25-5 run in the second quarter put Eilat in control (43-29) and the visitors remained comfortably on top until the finish.Jordan Loyd had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Eilat, which improved to 5-6. Talib Zanna scored 16 points for Ness Ziona, which fell to 3-8.Arik Shivek’s first game as the coach of Bnei Herzliya did not go as he had hoped. Herzliya remained in last place after losing 95-87 to Maccabi Ashdod and falling to 2-9. Ashdod led from start to finish after opening the night with a 10-2 run. The hosts led by as many as 21 points (73-52) in the third quarter and held off a Herzliya comeback, which closed to within four points (89-85) in the final minute.Sek Henry had 22 points and 10 assists for Ashdod, which improved to 4-7. Nimrod Levy added 20 points and eight rebounds, with Jeff Adrien finishing with 23 points and 10 boards for Herzliya.BSL action continues on Saturday when Hapoel Holon (8-3) hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv (6-5).