Local Hoops: Mac TA, Hapoel J'lem to rekindle old rivalry
Allon Sinai
Both teams are coming off disappointing losses in Europe and are in desperate need of a win to get their seasons' back on track.
Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Jerusalem on Sunday night in the biggest rivalry the BSL has to offer. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses in European competition and are in desperate need of a win to get their seasons' back on track. Tel Aviv, which had its last league game against Ironi Ramat Gan postponed after a fire cracker was thrown onto the court at Malha Arena last Sunday, was thrashed 93-70 by Unicaja Malaga on Thursday and is still far from jelling into the quality side its fans expect it to be. Jerusalem fell to a 101-94 defeat to Den Bosch last Tuesday and has already started to fiddle with its roster. Point guard Anthony Roberson arrived in Israel on Thursday and trained with the team over the weekend. Roberson has yet to sign for Hapoel and it's still unclear whether he's coming as a replacement to disappointing playmaker Will Blalock or as an extra player to deepen the side's roster. Also Sunday, Ironi Ashkelon, which fired coach Ofer Berkovitch on Thursday, hosts Bnei Hasharon in new Ashkelon coach Arik Alfasi's first game in charge. Hapoel Galil Elyon visits Ironi Nahariya in the northern derby on Sunday and Maccabi Rishon Lezion will look to claim its second straight win when it hosts Ironi Ramat Gan. Hapoel Holon's game against Hapoel Afula/Gilboa, which was scheduled to be played on Monday, has been postponed and will be played at a later date. Holon faces an Israeli Basketball Association tribunal on Tuesday for its fans involvement in the fire-cracker incident that saw Malha security guard Yoav Litzshtein lose two fingers. On TV: Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Hapoel Jerusalem (live at 8:50 p.m. on channel 10)
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