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Maccabi Tel Aviv players 248 88 ap.(Photo by: AP)
Local Hoops: Hap Holon, Mac TA cruise to easy BSL victories
Maccabi Haifa is also on the verge of clinching home-court advantage after beating Ironi Ashkelon 84-77.
Hapoel Holon continued its superb season on Sunday night, claiming its sixth straight BSL victory to all but clinch home-court advantage in the playoffs. The State Cup holder defeated Maccabi Givat Shmuel 74-63 at Or Yehuda and has a two-game advantage over both Hapoel Galil/Gilboa and Bnei Hasharon, with just two more games remaining in the regular season. "We lacked a killer instinct and allowed Givat Shmuel back into the game too many times," said Holon coach, Danny Franco, who was named BSL coach of the month for March. "Our ability to improve our killer instinct will determine how far we go this season. If we can do that the sky is the limit." Maccabi Haifa is also on the verge of clinching home-court advantage after beating Ironi Ashkelon 84-77. Ashkelon was desperate for a victory to improve its playoff hopes and gave Haifa a fight until the very end. However, with Ashkelon trailing by two with less than 90 seconds to play, it turned over the ball on consecutive possessions and allowed the visitors to clinch the win. Doron Perkins continued to show why Haifa struggled terribly when he was injured, scoring 27 points, passing seven assists, grabbing seven rebounds and stealing the ball four times. Davon Jefferson added 19 points for Maccabi, with Rashon Turner scoring 18 and hauling down eight boards for Ashkelon. In other action, Maccabi Tel Aviv is now 12-0 in the BSL in 2009, thrashing Ironi Ramat Gan 103-86 at the Nokia Arena on Sunday night. Marcus Brown scored 20 points, with Omri Casspi adding 15 points and nine rebounds for Maccabi. Yariv Yatzkan scored 24 points for Ramat Gan, which remains in the top-eight despite its second straight defeat. Also Sunday, Bnei Hasharon beat Maccabi Rishon Lezion 95-78 and Hapoel Galil/Gilboa thrashed Ironi Kiryat Ata 84-63. On Monday, Ironi Nahariya hosts Hapoel Jerusalem. In European basketball news, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius claimed a dramatic 80-74 victory over Khimki Moscow Region in the Eurocup final. A 17-0 run late in the game gave the Lithuanians a 64-62 lead and ensured Rytas will be back in the Euroleague for the 2009-10 regular season. Marijonas Petravicius led the winners with 20 points and was also named MVP of the final.
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