Local Hoops: Gershon agrees terms to take over as Maccabi Tel Aviv coach

Birenboim's replacement is expected to guide the team in Thursday's Euroleague encounter against Unicaja Malaga.

pini gershon 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
pini gershon 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Pini Gershon agreed personal terms to coach Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday night and is expected to guide the team in Thursday's Euroleague encounter against Unicaja Malaga. Gershon replaces Effi Birenboim, who leaves the team after leading it to a 2-2 record in the Euroleague and a 4-1 record in the BSL. The Maccabi management, which was worried a loss on Thursday might result in the team missing out on the Euroleague Top 16, will be hoping Gershon can bring some of the magic which saw the team do so well under his guidance during his previous tenures at the club. Gershon, who led Hapoel Galil Elyon to the 1993 league title, guided Tel Aviv to the 2001, 2004 and 2005 Euroleague titles with a high scoring and exciting brand of basketball, but will have much work to do if he's to guide the current team to even half of that success. Galil/Gilboa wins 4th straight Also Monday, Hapoel Galil Elyon/Gilboa claimed its fourth straight victory, defeating Hapoel Holon 103-89 on the road. Oded Katash's team seized control of the encounter with a 36-point offensive explosion in the third quarter and joins Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem as the only teams with a 4-1 record. "We started the second half very well and as soon as we made adjustments we started to score," Galil coach Oded Katash said. "I'm not scared to say that we are a top team." Holon coach Danny Franco was honest enough to say that the margin of defeat complemented his team. "Galil should have won by a bigger gap and we must learn from this defeat and make sure we never lose in such a way again," Franco said. Aaron Nixon led the visitors, scoring 23 points, with Goni Izraeli adding 22 points and six assist against his former team and Brian Roberts contributing 21 points. Curtis Withers and Luis Flores each scored 17 points for Holon, which falls to 3-2 after Monday's defeat. An early 9-2 run gave Holon the lead and the hosts were in front by four points (23-19) after 10 minutes. A good start to the second period gave Galil the lead, but Holon seemed to be in a dominant position after it opened a 42-34 margin in the latter stages of the first half. The visitors, however, ended the half with a 7-1 run and were within one possession (43-41) at the break. The game remained tight for the first seven minutes of the second half, but Galil's offense was unstoppable in the third quarter, outscoring Holon 36-23, and Katash's men took an 11-point cushion (77-66) into the final 10 minutes. Despite attempting to pressure Galil and force turnovers in the fourth period, Holon never made any serious inroads into Hapoel's margin and the visitors cruised to the win.