Mac TA hopes to rebound in derby after Euroleague exit

Maccabi Tel Aviv aims to get its season back on track when it visits Hapoel Tel Aviv in BSL action on Monday night.

DeAndre Kane (front)  (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
DeAndre Kane (front)
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
After its Euroleague playoff hopes were extinguished with a fourth consecutive defeat in the competition, Maccabi Tel Aviv aims to get its season back on track when it visits Hapoel Tel Aviv in BSL action on Monday night.
The 83-72 loss at Baskonia Vitoria on Thursday saw Maccabi fall to a 13-16 record in the Euroleague, officially ending the yellow-and-blue’s chances of finishing in the top eight and qualifying for the post-season. Tel Aviv will miss out on the quarterfinals for a third straight year, a drought the length of which it last experienced between 1996 and 1999.
Plenty of changes are expected at the club in the upcoming off-season, with coach Neven Spahija’s job also far from safe. The outcome of the BSL campaign will also go a long way to determining the future of Spahija and his roster, with Maccabi having almost two more months of regular season action to go through before the start of the quarterfinal playoffs. Tel Aviv has lost in the BSL semifinals in each of the past three seasons.
The yellow-and-blue ended a disastrous March with a 3-7 record, winning only one of six Euroleague contests and also going just 2-2 in local league play.
Nevertheless, it enters Monday’s clash tied at 16-5 with Hapoel Holon in first place.
Holon will already be in action on Sunday when it visits Ironi Nahairya. Holon suffered a home defeat to Hapoel Jerusalem last week, but hasn’t lost two games in a row since its first two contests of the season.
Nahariya is tied with Maccabi Haifa for the worst record in the league at 7-14, losing its past five games.
Elsewhere Sunday, Maccabi Ashdod visits Bnei Herzliya and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
Also Monday, Hapoel Eilat welcomes Ironi Ness Ziona and Hapoel Jerusalem looks to continue and build momentum when it goes to Maccabi Haifa.
Jerusalem came back from 10 points down to beat Holon last week, claiming its second straight win after previously losing in Oded Katash’s first two games at the helm.
Hapoel has a 13-8 record, sitting three games back of Holon and Maccabi, and just one game ahead of Ashdod.