Mac TA records another blowout BSL win

Yellow-and-blue rallies on the road over Mac Haifa; Jerusalem gets back on track in Netanya.

Burstein 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Burstein 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv will enter Thursday’s Euroleague showdown with Barcelona after another comfortable BSL victory over Maccabi Haifa on Sunday night, while Hapoel Jerusalem snapped its two-game losing skid with a win at Barak Netanya.
Maccabi trailed rock-bottom Haifa after 10 minutes, but outscored the hosts 30-11 in the second period and sailed to a 100-86 victory, its 16th double- digit win of the BSL season.
“There were a few minutes when we were sweating and that is good,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, who will be hoping his team can beat Barca by 11 points or more on Thursday to leapfrog the Spaniards into first position in Group F of the Top 16.
“This was not one of our best games of the season, but you need to know how to win these types of games as well. I will not look back at this game very fondly, but the most important thing is the fact that we won ahead of Thursday’s big encounter.”
After losing two straight games, Jerusalem finally returned to winning ways on Sunday, beating Barak Netanya 103-93 on the road.
“We played smart basketball tonight and got the job done,” Jerusalem coach Oded Katash said.
“When we play good offense we are a very dangerous team. We have been through a difficult and frustrating period, but we have signed a new player and our injured players will eventually comeback. I think that these last two months of frustration could end up helping us. The most important thing is that we make sure we are ready for the playoffs and fight for a place in the Final Four.”
Also Sunday, Bnei Hasharon claimed its fifth win in its last six games, thrashing Ironi Ashkelon 96-75.
Bnei Hasharon opened a 49-37 halftime lead and had little trouble retaining a double-figure gap for much of the second half to clinch another victory.
Filiberto Rivera led five Bnei Hasharon players in double-figures with 17 points, while Rashon Turner had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Ashkelon, which lost for the eighth time in its last nine games.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil visits Maccabi Ashdod on Monday.
In Nesher, Haifa remained in touch with Tel Aviv at the start of the game and shockingly surged into a 17-9 lead with an 11-0 run, capped by a Sylven Landesberg basket.
Haifa remained in front until the end of the first period (24-16), but by halftime it would find itself trailing the yellow- and-blue by double-digits.
Tel Aviv improved its defense and regained its composure on offense and was in complete control at the break, leading 46-35 after ending the second quarter with a 20-4 run.
A Marco Killingsworth basket brought the hosts to within six points (58-52) midway through the third frame, but Tel Aviv responded with a 14-4 run and would cruise to another easy win.
Lior Eliyahu had 22 points in 22 minutes for Maccabi, with Killinsworth scoring 19 points for Haifa, which has won just two of its past 16 league games.
After a tight beginning to the game in Netanya, Jerusalem scored seven of the final nine points of the first quarter to open a 24-18 lead.
A 12-3 run in the second period, capped by a Will Solomon basket, gave Hapoel a stranglehold on the game (38- 23) and the visitors led 52-40 at halftime.
Jerusalem all but clinched the win with a 14-3 surge to start the second half and finally claimed a comfortable BSL victory.
Yuval Naimi had 26 points for Jerusalem, with Yugev Ohayon adding 10 points and 11 assists.
Elton Brown had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Netanya, which has lost three of four games.