Eilat, Holon record resounding victories to book semifinal spots

In the first game of the day, Holon outplayed Gilboa in the second half behind guard Anthony Goods.

David Blatt 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
David Blatt 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Holon advanced to the semifinals of the Winner Cup on Sunday night, overcoming erratic performances to gain some much-needed confidence ahead of the start of the new BSL season next week.
Eilat beat Maccabi Rishon Lezion 79-69 in Rishon, while Holon defeated Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 80-66 in the first game of the day.
Holon awaits the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal between Hapoel Jerusalem and Barak Netanya, while Eilat will next play either Maccabi or Hapoel Tel Aviv, which clash in the derby later in the evening.
“We have won this title in recent years and we want to begin our season in the best way possible,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt. “Facing Hapoel in our first game makes it all the more exciting.
We are ready and can’t wait to get started.”
Hapoel Tel Aviv captain Matan Naor insisted Monday’s game will be more about preparation for the new season than bragging rights.
“This is another step in our preparations and we are focusing on playing basketball and improving as a team,” said Naor. “Every game gives us an opportunity to work on our teamwork and I hope we make the most of it.”
Rishon scored nine of the first 11 points of the night on Sunday, but Eilat came right back. There was very little to separate the teams throughout the remainder of the first half, with the southerners taking a three-point cushion (34-31) into the interval.
With coach Roni Bosani resigning just four days previously, it was of little surprise that Rishon looked so disjointed.
However, Eilat didn’t pull ahead until late in the fourth quarter, eventually clinching a victory which brought little joy to coach Oded Katash.
“I’m not pleased with how we played,” said Katash. “We are still searching for our rhythm.
I’m not satisfied and we still have a lot more work to do.”
Terrence Roderick led Eilat with 28 points, hitting 9-of- 10 field goals. Kevin Palmer added 21 points, with Or Solomon contributing 17 points and eight rebounds for Rishon.
In the first game of the day, Holon outplayed Gilboa in the second half behind guard Anthony Goods.
Sharon Drucker’s Gilboa ended the first period with an 11-2 run to open a nine-point margin (19-10), but a 13-3 surge by Holon gave it a lead it maintained until the break (34-31).
Holon never looked back after starting the second half with a 10-0 run (44-31), giving coach Lior Lubin plenty of reasons for optimism ahead of the new season while leaving Drucker with much to mull over.
“We aren’t that concerned about winning the title. The important thing for us is the progress we make ahead of the season,” said Lubin.
Goods had 22 points, six assists and five rebounds for Holon, with Brian Asbury adding 19 points. Adrian Banks led Gilboa with 19 points.