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Basketball: Hap Holon looks to remain undefeated against Hap J'lem
Allon Sinai
11/11/2007
Holon improves its already impressive roster with the signing of 36-year-old American Tanoka Beard.
Hapoel Holon faces its first true test of the BSL season on Sunday night, when it visits Hapoel Jerusalem at the Malha Arena. Maccabi Tel Aviv and Holon are the only remaining unbeaten sides in the league and another win for Holon on Sunday could set the tone for the team's entire season. Holon improved its already impressive roster on Friday with the signing of Tanoka Beard, who is not expected to feature prominently on Sunday. The 36-year-old American may be past his peak, but his vast Euroleague experience could prove priceless for Holon. Beard, who was released from Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas last week, averaged just 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in two games in the Euroleague this season, far less than the 14.5 points and 9.9 rebound average he contributed to the team last year. Even without Beard, who is also a two-time Spanish league MVP from his days at Real Madrid and Joventut Badalona, Holon has reason to be confident ahead of its trip to Malha Arena. The team has averaged 102.5 ppg in its two wins in the BSL and faces a Jerusalem side that lost to Bnei Hasharon by 15 points last week. Jerusalem regained some of its lost pride with a one point victory over Strasbourg in the ULEB Cup on Tuesday, but is still far from the form Israeli basketball fans have come to expect from the BSL runner-up. Also on Sunday, Bnei Hasharon will look to maintain its winning form when it visits Hapoel Afula/Gilboa. The Sharon side dominated Jerusalem last week and will be favored to do so against Afula/Gilboa as well. Maccabi Rishon Lezion will hope to extend Hapoel Galil Elyon's awful start to the season when it faces the side at Kfar Blum on Sunday night. Galil lost its first two BSL games by an average 22.5 points and suffered a humiliating loss to Austrian team Swans Gmunden in the ULEB Cup on Tuesday. Ironi Nahariya will be confident of claiming its first home win of the season when it hosts Ironi Ashkelon on Sunday night. On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Ironi Ramat Gan in the final game of Matchday 3.
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