Holon continues march up the standings, now at .500

Holon opened a double-digit lead proving once more that its depleted seven-player rotation can outplay many of the league’s teams.

moran rot hapoel holon_311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
moran rot hapoel holon_311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Holon continued its remarkable resurgence on Monday night, evening its record at 10-10 by thrashing Maccabi Haifa 88-67 for its fourth BSL win in its past five games.
Holon opened a double-digit lead in the second quarter and cruised through the second half, proving once more that its depleted seven-player rotation can not only compete with many of the league’s teams, but also outplay them.
“I was very concerned about this game,” said Holon coach Danny Franco, who deserves much of the credit for his team’s relative success despite its financial struggles.
“I’m happy that despite all the difficulties we are managing to play like a top team. We keep getting more and more out of ourselves and who knows what we can achieve.
We will take it week by week and continue working hard and hopefully continue to smile.”
Rich Melzer had 18 points for Holon, with Moran Rot scoring 16 and Nir Cohen adding 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Marco Killingsworth had 16 points for Haifa, which lost in coach Miki Gorka’s first game in charge and for the seventh time in its last eight games.
Holon got off to a flying start, with an Amit Ben-David basket giving the hosts an early 10-2 lead.
Haifa came right back and Jermaine Jackson’s points tied the score at 14-14, but two more points by Ben-David to end the first period ensured the hosts had the edge (24-18) after 10 minutes.
The visitors remained within striking distance of Hapoel for the first six minutes of the second quarter, but Holon opened a significant margin (45-30) at a crucial moment with a 10-0 run, capped by a Cohen basket, and the hosts led by 13 points (48-35) at the break.
Haifa managed to close within single-digits (49-40) at the start of the second half following Sylven Landesberg’s three-point play, but the Greens would come no closer and Holon would all but clinch the win by the end of the third period.
An 11-1 surge opened a 19- point cushion (60-41) and Holon scored the final 11 points of the quarter to take an unassailable 74-48 margin into the final 10 minutes of the encounter.