Rishon Lezion, Eilat have BSL semifinal berths within grasp
Holon is hoping to force a Game 5 at home with the aim of becoming just the second team to come back from a 0-2 deficit in a playoff series.
By ALLON SINAI
Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Hapoel Eilat will aim to complete the BSL semifinal lineup on Thursday night with wins in Game 4 of their respective series.Rishon, the No. 6 seed, hosts Hapoel Holon (3) with a 2-1 lead, while Hapoel Eilat (4) visits Maccabi Haifa (5).Holon is hoping to force a Game 5 at home with the aim of becoming just the second team to come back from a 0-2 deficit in a playoff series. Rishon was the first to do so in 2012.The winner of the quarterfinal series between Rishon and Holon will next face Hapoel Jerusalem, which beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-0.Eilat and Haifa, who have yet to win on the road in the series, are battling to set up a showdown with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the semis, with the yellow-and-blue sweeping Ironi Ness Ziona 3-0.Elsewhere Wednesday, the Israel Basketball Association announced that the national team will host World Cup finalist Serbia in two warm-up games ahead of this summer’s EuroBasket tournament.The friendlies will take place at Yad Eliyahu Arena on August 22 and 23.AdvertisementIsrael will play in Group A in September’s European Championships, being drawn with host and defending champion France, as well as Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Finland.The blue-and-white is aiming to advance past the first round for the first time since 2007, after winning just three games in total over the past three tournaments.The top four teams in the group will progress to the knockout rounds.Israel qualified for EuroBasket 2015 in impressive fashion last year, winning its group for the first time since 2001.The championships will take place on September 5-20, serving as a qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.For the first time in the event’s 80-year history, the EuroBasket will be hosted by four countries. Israel’s group will be played in Montpellier (France), while the other groups will be staged in Berlin (Germany), Riga (Latvia) and Zagreb (Croatia).