Mac TA crushes Herzliya, Haifa remains hot

Yellow-and-blue rebound from Euroleague loss with 28 point rout; Haifa edges Rishon.

MACCABI TEL AVIV’S new center Darko Planinic 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
MACCABI TEL AVIV’S new center Darko Planinic 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised back to winning ways in the BSL on Sunday night, while Maccabi Haifa continued its impressive season with its sixth win in its past seven games.
Tel Aviv (10-1) looked out of sorts for much of Thursday’s Euroleague Top 16 defeat at Montepaschi Siena, but Bnei Herzliya caused it no such problems on Sunday, with the yellow- and-blue claiming an embarrassingly easy 113-85 win.
Devin Smith led five Maccabi players in double-figures with 20 points, while Lior Eliyahu scored 19 and new signing Darko Planinic added 17 points in 17 minutes in his BSL debut.
Romel Beck had 32 points for Herzliya (4-7).
Unsurprisingly, Haifa had to work much harder for its victory, eventually toughing out a 79-73 win at Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
Haifa held a slender lead throughout the game and survived a late Rishon comeback to improve to 8-3 and remain in second place.
Gal Mekel led the Greens with 17 points, with Donta Smith scoring 15 and Pat Calathes contributing 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Julian Wright had 21 points and 11 boards for Rishon, which dropped to 5-6 after losing for the sixth time in eight games.
Hapoel Tel Aviv fell to its fourth defeat in five contests on Sunday, losing 72-67 at Maccabi Ashdod.
After a promising start to the campaign, the newly-promoted Hapoel has struggled for form in recent weeks, losing to Ashdod despite holding a double- digit cushion (43-33) early in the second half.
Diamon Simpson had 22 points and 10 boards for Ashdod (3-8), while Curtis Kelly scored 19 for Hapoel (5-6).
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon’s crisis continued to deepen with a seventh straight defeat.
Holon lost 72-70 at Barak Netanya, with Deron Washington scoring the winning basket at the buzzer.
Marco Killingsworth had 18 points and 14 rebounds for Netanya (7-4), with Frank Hassell leading the despondent Holon with 15 points and 13 boards.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem welcomes Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil visits Ironi Ashkelon.