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Hapoel JM 298.88.(Photo by: AP)
Local Basketball: Hapoel Jerusalem aims to get back on track against Ashkelon
ALLON SINAI
03/30/2008
Ashkelon defeated Hapoel 98-97 at Malha when the teams first met at the start of January and claimed a well earned 89-76 home victory against the State Cup holder last Monday.
Six days after losing to Ironi Ashkelon for the second time this season, Hapoel Jerusalem can gain a speedy revenge on Sunday night at Malha Arena. Ashkelon defeated Hapoel 98-97 at Malha when the teams first met at the start of January and claimed a well earned 89-76 home victory against the State Cup holder last Monday. Jerusalem was extremely poor throughout its game at Ashkelon last week and is in serious danger of missing out on the Final Four for the first time, with Ironi Nahariya breathing down its neck. Ashkelon has won three of its last five games, but has lost four straight road games since prevailing at Malha. Ashkelon is two points ahead of last-placed Hapoel Galil Elyon, which faces a tough game at Nahariya on Sunday. Galil was humbled by Bnei Hasharon in Oded Katash's first game back as coach last week and will need to be at its very best to end its five-game losing streak on Sunday. A last minute collapse last week saw Nahariya suffer a heartbreaking loss to Hapoel Holon and another defeat against Galil will significantly hurt the team's hopes of sneaking into the season-ending tournament. Also Sunday, the in-form Holon, which has won eight of its last 10 league games, hosts a Hapoel Afula/Gilboa side that has climbed off the bottom of the standings in the last two weeks with two victories. On Monday, Bnei Hasharon hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
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