Six Hapoel Jerusalem players scored double figures Sunday night to lead the hoopsters to a 97-82 victory over Ironi Ramat Gan at Malcha.
By SHANI ROSENFELDER, DAVID WISEMAN
No fewer than six Hapoel Jerusalem players scored in double figures Sunday night to lead the capital city hoopsters to their fourth straight BSL victory, a 97-82 breeze over Ironi Ramat Gan at Malcha.
Also Sunday night, league frontrunner Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Ironi Nahariya 86-82, Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan held on for a 75-72 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion, and Hapoel Tel Aviv topped Bnei Hasharon 82-81.
Matchday 5 will wrap up on Monday when Bnei Hasharon hosts Elitzur Ashkelon.
Hapoel Jerusalem 97,
Ironi Ramat Gan 82
Meir Tapiro led Hapoel Jerusalem's onslaught with 19 points and nine assists in only 27 minutes of playing time.
Despite a promising offensive effort in the first quarter, Hapoel was unable to step up its defense and the period ended with the hosts ahead 25-20.
Jerusalem opened the second quarter with a two-anda-half-minute dry spell, but a subsequent 13-2 run helped Tapiro and co. take a 48-35 lead at halftime.
Erez Edelstein's gunners took no mercy on Ramat Gan in the third period, with Jerusalem extending its lead to 24 points midway through the quarter. Hapoel was up 18 (74-56) after 30 minutes of play.
Ramat Gan came out to play in the fourth quarter and outscored Hapoel 26-23 in the last period.
Roger Mason, 4-for-8 on three-point attempts, finished with 17 points. Horace Jenkins scored only two points in the first half but then picked up his game in the second half to finish with 17. Mario Austin, Erez Marckovich and Ido Kozikaro scored 12, 11, 10 respectively.
Ramat Gan was led by former Hapoel Jerusalem star Tunji Awojobi who scored a game-high 23 points. Jerusalem fans graced the Nigerian center, who was a leading force behind Hapoel's historic ULEB Cup title two years ago, with a standing ovation. Itai Lev and Kevin Rice added 15 points each in a losing effort.
Next up for Hapoel Jerusalem is Tuesday's ULEB Cup match against Dynamo Moscow in Russia.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 86,
Ironi Nahariya 82
Both teams needed to bounce back from defeats in European competitions, and Pini Gershon's charges came out on top against the visitors from the north.
Nahariya was within striking distance throughout, trailing by two both at halftime (42-40) and late in the fourth quarter.
Tel Aviv's Nikola Vujcic nearly produced a triple-double (23 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds), while last week's Euroleague MVP Maceo Baston scored 23 points for himself.
Cory Carr led his team in the losing effort with 29 points, while Barak Peleg had 15 and Jayson Wells and Otis Hill each scored 12.
Maccabi Rishon 72
Hapoel Galil-Elyon Golan recorded somewhat of an upset over visiting Maccabi Rishon Lezion. Rishon entered the game in fourth place, while Galil-Golan was ninth.
After Galil-Galon took a 71-61 lead late in the game, Rishon made a push but fell short.
Uchenna Nsonwu led Galil-Golan with 22 points.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 82, Bnei Hasharon 81 (OT)
Rodger Farrington hit two free throws with 16 seconds remaining in the extra period and Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated host Bnei Hasharon.