Local hoops: Hapoel Holon powers past Ironi Nahariya

Clear victory for Holon in bid for a place in the BSL Final Four

hapoel holon 88 (photo credit: )
hapoel holon 88
(photo credit: )
Hapoel Holon defeated Ironi Nahariya 87-69 on Monday night in a direct battle between two of the main challengers for a place in the BSL Final Four. Holon, which has now won three of its last four league encounters, played in front of empty stands for the fourth and what will likely be the last time on Monday, as the IBA is expected to shorten its punishment for the fire-cracker explosion at the Malha Arena in November from eight to four games. P.J. Tucker led Holon with 23 points and seven rebounds, with Moran Rot adding 16 points and 10 assists. Eric Campbell added 15 points and 14 rebounds, with Chris Watson also contributing a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds). Ashante Johnson scored 18 points for Nahariya, which has now lost three of its last four games. The hosts dominated the proceedings right from the start and led 19-5 after a Tucker lay-up. Nahariya cut the margin slightly in the final two minutes of the first period and John Gilchrist's three-pointer in the dying seconds of the quarter brought the visitors within nine points (22-13). Holon, however, surged ahead at the start of the second period and opened an unassailable lead with a 14-2 quarter opening run. Rot expertly orchestrated Hapoel's offense and two more points by Tucker opened a 36-15 advantage. Ironi closed the gap to 15 points (50-35) at the break, but the second half was no different to the first and Holon cruised to an important win.