Haifa desperate for win against Holon

Haifa desperate for win

maccabi haifa tyler 248.88 (photo credit: )
maccabi haifa tyler 248.88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Haifa will have an ideal opportunity to rebound from last week's 35-point drubbing at Hapoel Galil/Gilboa when it hosts the winless Hapoel Holon on Sunday, while Maccabi Tel Aviv will be expecting to maintain its perfect start to the BSL season against the hapless Ironi Ramat Gan. Haifa faced Tel Aviv in the Final Four title game last campaign, but has struggled desperately so far this season. After losing to the yellow-and-blue in its league opener, Avi Ashkenazi's men claimed an unimpressive victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion, before falling to a humbling thrashing at the hands of Oded Katash's Galil team last week. Despite keeping hold of several key players from last season, including Davon Jefferson, and adding some promising names to its roster, Haifa looked completely lost against Galil. The off-court troubles and on-court ineptness of 18-year-old high school sensation Jeremy Tyler has just made matters worse, creating the negative headlines Haifa had managed to avoid since its return to the top flight last summer. Nevertheless, Haifa will be favored to return to winning ways on Sunday when it entertains Holon. Amir Uzi's men have lost all three of their league games this season, but will gather some encouragement from giving Hapoel Jerusalem a run for its money last week before losing 85-83. Maccabi Tel Aviv has cruised in its first three BSL games and will enter Sunday's encounter against the 0-3 Ramat Gan in high spirits after claiming a dramatic 92-90 overtime victory at Lottomatica Roma in the Euroleague on Thursday. The win put Maccabi top of Group C and gives it an excellent opportunity to enter the Top 16 from the favorable first position. After a tight first half, Roma surged into the lead in the third period and seemed to be heading to the victory until some missed free-throws by the hosts allowed Maccabi's Andrew Wisniewski to send the encounter into overtime with a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds on the clock. The extra period was just as close as the first 40 minutes, but Maccabi eventually prevailed thanks to some clutch play by Doron Perkins and Alan Andreson, who led all scorers with 27 points. "We made plenty of mistakes, we didn't use our opportunities and we missed open shots," Maccabi coach Pini Gershon said. "We lost 13 balls in the first half, all from silly mistakes. But in the fourth quarter, the players started to focus. "You can't forget that Caja Laboral Vitoria lost here. Our wins have come from defense. Wisniewski didn't start well, but brought us back later on. Whenever the ball is in Alan Anderson's hands, good things happen." Meanwhile, Dan Shamir returns to the Malha Arena as an opposing coach for the first time on Sunday since guiding the team to consecutive State Cups in 2007 and 2008. The 34-year-old was David Blatt's assistant at Dynamo Moscow last season, leaving Jerusalem after two years as head coach. Despite an erratic start to the season, Shamir's Bnei Hasharon is entering the game with a 2-1 record. Hapoel Jerusalem has also won two of its first three games, but will be looking for its first home win of the BSL season on Sunday after losing to Galil/Gilboa in its only league game at Malha to date. Also Sunday, newly-promoted Barak Netanya, which has begun the season with three consecutive victories, visits Ironi Ashkelon, and Hapoel Afula hosts Ironi Nahariya. On Monday, the impressive Galil/Gilboa visits the disappointing Rishon Lezion.