Local Hoops: Relatively easy night for local favorites in State Cup last-16; Eilat edges Gilboa/Galil.
By ALLON SINAI
Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised into the quarterfinals of the State Cup on Sunday in a night in which all the favorites advanced safely.Tel Aviv crushed Ironi Ashkelon 100-64 at Nokia Arena, opening the game with an 11-0 run and never looking back.Lior Eliyahu had 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Maccabi, with Marcus Dove scoring 17 for Ashkelon.There were two more all-BSL showdowns on Sunday, with the in-form teams both prevailing.Hapoel Eilat, which has won six of its past seven BSL games, survived a scare before overcoming Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 65-64 at home.Maccabi Haifa also had to sweat before overcoming the struggling Maccabi Rishon Lezion, requiring overtime to claim a 93-84 win.Haifa had a seven-point gap (40-33) at the break, but held just a two-point edge (55-53) with 10 minutes to play.AdvertisementRishon seemed to be heading for the upset, leading by five points (75-70) with 38 seconds remaining in regulation.However, a Paul Stoll threepointer after a Rishon turnover would force overtime and the hosts dominated the extra period on the way to the quarterfinals.Donta Smith had 29 points and 10 rebounds for Haifa, with Pat Calathes adding 27 points, 18 boards and five assists.Adrian Uter led Rishon with 24 points and nine rebounds.Hapoel Galil Elyon’s Cinderella run ended in the last 16 on Sunday with a 104-78 thrashing at the hands of Hapoel Holon.Galil Elyon of the second division, which recorded the upset of the previous round when it edged Barak Netanya, fell into a double-digit hole in the first period and could only close to within five points in the second quarter before being steamrolled in the second half.Sean Daniel had 26 points for Holon, with Zack Rosen contributing 16 points.Gary Johnson had 23 points for Galil Elyon.Also Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem beat Ironi Nahariya of the National League 101-84 to reach the last eight.On Monday, Maccabi Ashdod welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv in an all-BSL tie, while Hapoel Afula hosts Bnei Herzliya and Hapoel Kfar Saba plays Maccabi Be’er Ya’akov, ensuring there will at least be one team from the National League in the quarterfinals.
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