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hapoel jm 298.88.(Photo by: Asaf Kliger)
Basketball: Hap J'lem through to State Cup semis
Defeats Maccabi Givat Shmuel 96-83 in the second leg of the quarterfinals at Malha Arena.
Hapoel Jerusalem advanced to the semifinals of the State Cup on Saturday night after defeating Maccabi Givat Shmuel 96-83 in the second leg of the quarterfinals at Malha Arena. Jerusalem came into the game with an 11 point cushion from the first leg and had no trouble securing its place in the last four of the cup. Givat Shmuel opened a lead at the start of the game. However a Hapoel run at the end of the first period gave the hosts a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Jerusalem was led by Dror Hajaj, who scored 20 points, with Guy Pnini and Timmy Bowers adding 18 and 15 points respectively. At the start of the game Hapoel still looked stunned from its midweek loss to Oostende in the ULEB Cup and the visitors opened up a small lead. But an 8-1 run by the hosts at the end of the first quarter finally gave the team the lead, and Hapoel continued its momentum for the remainder of the game. The three remaining quarterfinals will be played on Sunday night. Maccabi Tel Aviv will visit Ironi Nahariya and will be a huge favorite to advance after winning the first leg by 14 points. Bnei Hasharon faces Hapoel Afula/Gilboa with a 27 point cushion and, baring catastrophe, will be in the semifinals. The lone National league representative, Hapoel Yokneam/Megido, plays Ironi Ramat Gan and will hope its four point win in the first leg will be enough to reach the last four.
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