Mac Haifa, Netanya meet in EuroChallenge

Both teams coming off defeats, look to get healthy against each other.

EuroChallenge 311 (photo credit: FIBA EUROPE Web site)
EuroChallenge 311
(photo credit: FIBA EUROPE Web site)
Maccabi Haifa visits Barak Netanya in Group I of the EuroChallenge on Tuesday, desperately needing a win to rebound from its recent woes.
Haifa’s 95-90 loss to Hapoel Jerusalem at Malha Arena on Sunday was its 10th BSL defeat in 11 games, leaving the team with the third-biggest budget in the league rock-bottom of the standings.
The Greens replaced coach Elad Hasin with assistant Ami Nawi earlier this season and were rumored to be interested in the services of Muli Katuzirn before he signed with Alba Berlin on Monday.
Nawi seems to be living on borrowed time, but he will hope that a winning streak, starting with Tuesday’s game against Netanya, will save his job.
Nawi can at least gather some encouragement from the fact that two of Haifa’s three league victories this season have come against Netanya, including its only BSL win in its last 11 games.
“Maccabi Haifa may be in a crisis, but this is a good team with excellent players and it will be a tough game,” Netanya coach Eric Alfasi said.
Both Haifa and Netanya began the EuroChallenge Last 16 with defeats last week, with Haifa losing to Lukoil Academic Sofia and Alfasi’s men falling to Spartak St. Petersburg in Russia.
In other Israeli basketball news, Bnei Hasharon climbed to third place in the BSL standings on Monday, defeating Maccabi Ashdod 81-78 on the road.
Bnei Hasharon led for much of the second half, but had to hold off an Ashdod comeback in the fourth period to claim its fourth win in its last five games, improving to 9-6 on the season.
Lee Nailon had 25 points for the winners, with Shawn James adding 19 points and 13 boards.
Ramel Bradley led five Ashdod players in double-figures with 18 points, but Ashdod has lost three of its last four games after winning six of seven.