Local Basketball: Mac TA tunes up for CSKA with easy win

Snaps rare two-game losing streak in the BSL by rolling over Hapoel Afula/Gilboa 103-75.

mac TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
mac TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Tel Aviv snapped a rare two-game losing streak in the BSL by rolling over Hapoel Afula/Gilboa 103-75 behind Lior Eliyahu's 18 points on Monday night. "A good performance by my players," said Maccabi coach Neven Spahija. "Now we are ready for [our Euroleague quarterfinal playoff game against] CSKA Moscow. All we want to do now is to put in a 200% effort in Russia on Thursday." At Nokia Arena, Spahija decided to start with the same lineup he used against CSKA Moscow last week. Two quick three-pointers by Derrick Sharp helped Maccabi make a 12-3 run in the opening minutes and Afula/Gilboa was unable to keep up. With Jermaine Hall in foul trouble, Tel Aviv all but sealed the result by racing to a 52-35 lead at halftime. Hall came out strong in the second half and scored a total of 30 points, but Maccabi maintained its tempo and was not in danger. Ironi Ramat Gan 67, Bnei Hasharon 93 Bnei Hasharon visited Ramat Gan's Zisman Arena without star forward Lee Nailon, who missed his flight from the US. Nonetheless, the State Cup finalists had no problem dominating the game. The surprise of the evening was veteran Bnei Hasharon sharpshooter Moshe Mizrahi, who connected four times from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points. Jason Williams had a solid outing for Effi Birenboim's squad by contributing 21 points and collecting eight rebounds.