Local Hoops: Maccabi Tel Aviv cruises as relegation battle heats up

Maccabi returns to its winning ways with a 95-84 victory over Ironi Nahariya; Ironi Ramat Gan feels some pressure.

maccabi tel aviv 88 (photo credit: )
maccabi tel aviv 88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to its winning ways on Sunday with a 95-84 victory over Ironi Nahariya at Nokia Arena, but the story of BSL Matchday 26 was at the bottom of the table, where redhot Maccabi Givat Shmuel and Ramat Hasharon scored overtime wins to put pressure on Ironi Ramat Gan. Timmy Bowers scored 39 and Jay Straight added 34 against his former team as Givat Shmuel topped Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan 117-112 in double overtime. The win was the team's fourth straight and sixth in seven tries under new coach Ofer Berkovic, as Givat Shmuel improved to 8-16. Ramat Gan, which lost to Bnei Hasharon 91-79, dropped to 8-16 and fell behind Givat Shmuel into 10th place due to the headto-head tiebreaker between the clubs. Last place Ramat Hasharon, which topped Hapoel Tel Aviv 86-83, is only one game behind the two. The teams that finish 10th and 11th at the end of the regular season will be relegated to the National League. In Tel Aviv, Nahariya pulled ahead early 22-14 on Amit Ben-David three. Maccabi regained the lead in the second period, but Nahariya never gave in and tied the score at 55 in the third. However, at that point Maccabi went on a 13-0 run and would never trail again, recording its first win since losing the Euroleague final to CSKA Moscow last week. The last remaining Matchday 26 game will take place on Monday, when second place Hapoel Jerusalem hosts third place Maccabi Rishon in a potential Final Four preview.