Maccabi Haifa to host Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in an important top four showdown.
By ALLON SINAI
A Yariv Yatzkan three-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining gave Hapoel Holon a stunning 83-81 victory over Hapoel Jerusalem at Malha Arena on Saturday night.Jerusalem entered the game on a high after last week’s impressive 20-point drubbing of Hapoel Gilboa/Galil, but despite coming back from a double-figure deficit to take the lead with 16.5 seconds to play, fell to a surprise defeat ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Eurocup encounter against Unics Kazan.Holon coach Miki Dorsman missed the game through illness and top-scorer Dwyane Mitchell was out injured, but the team still managed to claim the significant victory which boosts its chances of reaching the playoffs.“Yariv scored an amazing basket,” Holon assistant coach Avner Yaor said. “It’s very special to win at Malha and we dedicate this victory to Dorsman.”Antonio Graves led Holon with 19 points, with Sasa Bratic and John Thomas adding 16 and 14 points, respectively.Tre Simmons had 16 points for Jerusalem, with Sharon Sasson scoring 13.After a tight start to the game, Holon scored eight of the final 10 points of the first period and led 25-20 after 10 minutes.AdvertisementThe visitors continued their run in the second quarter, with Bratic’s four straight points opening a 31-20 margin. Jerusalem came right back and tied the score at 35-35, but Graves’s buzzer-beating three-pointer ensured Holon was in front at the break (40-35).The hosts didn’t take long to draw even and a very close third quarter ended all-tied at 61-61 after a Sasson three.Holon got the fourth period off to a fast start, and thanks to three quick triples led 75-63 with five minutes to play.Holon was still ahead by double-digits (79-68) with Osman two-and-a-half minutes remaining, but Jerusalem never gave up and took the lead with a 13-1 run.Yuval Naimi scored eight points and Pinkney’s basket with 16.5 second to go gave the hosts an 81-80 advantage. However, Holon would have the last laugh thanks to Yatzkan’s heroics and claimed a dramatic victory.On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in an important top four showdown.Haifa and Gilboa both have a 9-4 record, but each has relatively struggled in recent weeks. Gilboa has lost its last two games, while Haifa rebounded from a two-game losing streak last week with a road victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion.Maccabi Tel Aviv, fresh off its State Cup triumph, hosts Maccabi RishonLezion on Sunday. Tel Aviv will be hoping for yet another easy BSL winahead of Wednesday’s crucial Euroleague encounter against Efes Pilsenin Istanbul.Also Sunday, Barak Netanya visits Hapoel Afula and Ironi Ramat Ganhosts Ironi Nahariya. Ironi Ashkelon welcomes Bnei Hasharon on Mondayin a repeat of last week’s cup semifinal won by Bnei Hasharon.
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