Hot Hapoel Tel Aviv faces test against Ashkelon

After recording first real upset of season last week, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Ashkelon hoping to build early momentum.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After recording the first real upset of the season last week, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Ashkelon on Sunday night hoping to build early momentum.
The fan-owned Tel Aviv beat Hapoel Jerusalem 84-77 at Malha Arena last Sunday for its first BSL win since returning to the top flight after six years. It will find itself in the unaccustomed position of being the favorite against the winless Ashkelon.
“The win against Jerusalem will be worthless if we don’t beat Ashkelon at home,” said guard Bar Timor, who has impressed in Hapoel’s first two games of the season, averaging 10.0 points and 7.0 assists.
“Every game in this league is difficult and we are the last ones who can afford to underestimate another team. These games are our bread and butter.”
At least one of the league’s perfect four teams will suffer its first defeat on Sunday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv hosting Maccabi Rishon Lezion in a battle between two of the unbeaten clubs.
Maccabi thrashed Chalon- Sur-Saone 90-61 to improve to 3-0 in the Euroleague on Thursday and is expected to move to 3-0 in the BSL with similar ease on Sunday.
Maccabi Haifa is another team entering Sunday with a 2-0 record and it will be hoping to continue its promising start to the season when it visits Hapoel Eilat.
Haifa has opened the season with some notable defensive displays, holding Hapoel Gilboa/Galil to 66 points in a 24-point landslide before beating Hapoel Holon 63-53 last Wednesday.
Also Sunday, the disappointing Gilboa will look to kick-start its season with a first win when it hosts Hapoel Holon in Gan Ner.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem, which has opened the season 0-2 for the first time since 1997, visits the 2-0 Barak Netanya, while Maccabi Ashdod hosts Bnei Herzliya.
On TV: Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Maccabi Rishon Lezion (live at 8:30 p.m. on Sport5); Hapoel Tel Aviv vs Ironi Ashkelon (live at 7:50 p.m. on Sport5+).