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Hapoel Jerusalem’s Yotan Halperin.(Photo by: ISRAEL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION)
Jerusalem dominates Nahariya, into State Cup quarters
Jerusalem outscored Nahariya 29-14 in the second quarter to take a double-digit gap (47-36) into the break and would dominate the second half.
Three days after its season hit a new low with a humbling early exit from the Eurocup, Hapoel Jerusalem registered one of its best games of the campaign on Saturday night to defeat Ironi Nahariya 90-74 and advance to the quarterfinals of the State Cup.

Hapoel entered the contest under massive pressure after suffering a home defeat to Reggio Emilia of Italy on Wednesday and losing any chance of progressing in the Eurocup with one regular season game still to play.

A loss to Nahariya and a cup exit in the round-of-16 may have been a blow from which Jerusalem would have struggled to recover. But everyone connected with the club was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief on Saturday after Hapoel dominated Nahariya at Ein Sara Arena to secure its progress, picking up just its second win over all competitions in December after previously losing five of six games.

Jerusalem outscored Nahariya 29-14 in the second quarter to take a double-digit gap (47-36) into the break and would dominate the second half.

Captain Yotam Halperin stepped up for the winners, scoring 20 points, 18 of them in the first half. Ronald Roberts registered his third straight double- double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Corey Webster had 18 points for Nahariya.

Also Saturday, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Eilat booked their spots in the last eight. Tel Aviv registered a 74-60 win over Bnei Herzliya in a game overshadowed by Jerel McNeal almost assaulting referee Dan Yelon.

After being ejected in the first quarter following a verbal exchange with Yelon, Hapoel’s Daniel Aidan was all that stood between McNeal and a physical confrontation with the official, holding back his teammate.

Jeff Adrien had 19 points for Herzliya, which was guided for the first time by Arik Shivek.

Eilat cruised into the next round with a 95-67 win at National League leader Maccabi Rehovot. Amit Simhon had 17 points for Eilat, which outscored Rehovot 30-12 in the second quarter and never lost control.

Al’lonzo Coleman scored 21 points for Rehovot.

The five remaining quarterfinalists will be decided on Sunday. Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Maccabi Ra’anana of the National League, Hapoel Holon goes to Maccabi Hod Hasharon, while in two all-BSL ties, Maccabi Haifa hosts Maccabi Ashdod and Ironi Ness Ziona visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion.

There is guaranteed to be at least one National League team in the last eight, the winner of the contest between Hapoel Beersheba and Hapoel Ramat Gan.

Saturday’s results: State Cup roundof- 16: Hapoel Tel Aviv 74, Bnei Herzliya 60; Hapoel Eilat 95, Maccabi Rehovot 67; Hapoel Jerusalem 90, Ironi Nahariya 74.

Sunday on TV: Maccabi Hod Hasharon vs Hapoel Holon / Hapoel Beersheba vs Hapoel Ramat Gan / Maccabi Haifa vs Maccabi Ashdod / Maccabi Rishon Lezion vs Ness Ziona (live on Sport5+ at 7 p.m.); Maccabi Ra’anana vs Maccabi Tel Aviv (live on Sport5 at 8:45 p.m.)
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