Local Hoops: Ashkelon pushes for playoff place

Haifa will also be desperate to claim the win to maintain its place in the top-four.

basketball 88 (photo credit: )
basketball 88
(photo credit: )
Ashkelon's push for a playoff berth continues on Sunday night when it hosts Maccabi Haifa. When coach Robi Balinko took charge of the team less than three weeks ago his main target was to guide it to safety. But Ashkelon has claimed two impressive victories in its last two outings and, with just three more games remaining in the season, finds itself only one point from a top-eight finish and a place in the playoffs. Haifa will also be desperate to claim the win on Sunday to maintain its place in the top-four and move closer to clinching home-court advantage in the playoffs. Maccabi will need to find a way to stop Ashkelon forward Rashon Turner, who has registered a double-double in his last seven games, and scored 22 points and took 21 rebounds in last week's victory over Ironi Ramat Gan. Maccabi Givat Shmuel is tied on points with Ashkelon, but has lost five straight games and another defeat on Sunday will all but end its hopes of playing in the playoffs. Givat Shmuel will have to be at its very best to claim the victory as its hosting red-hot Hapoel Holon, a winner of its last five games. Also Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Ramat Gan, Bnei Hasharon visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Hapoel Galil/Gilboa travels down south to play Ironi Kiryat Ata. On Monday, Ironi Nahariya hosts Hapoel Jerusalem.