Netanya notches 3rd straight win, snaps Gilboa’s streak

13-2 Netanya run in third quarter the turning point, with Gilboa failing to come back for a win.

Hapoel Gilboa/Galil coach Lior Lubin 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil coach Lior Lubin 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Barak Netanya snapped Hapoel Gilboa/Galil’s fivegame winning streak on Monday night, defeating Lior Lubin’s men 86-74 for its third straight BSL victory.
After beginning the season with six consecutive defeats, Danny Franco’s position as Netanya coach seemed precarious.
However, the club’s management backed the coach that worked miracles at Hapoel Holon last season, and despite struggling with injuries and unexpected departures, Franco’s Netanya has finally hit its stride in recent weeks.
A 13-2 Netanya run in the third quarter was the turning point in Monday’s victory, with Gilboa failing to come back for a win that would have given it sole possession of second place in the standings.
“We’re just starting to figure it out,” said Netanya’s Christian Burns, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“Our team is starting to come together. We know what needs to be done on the defensive end and we brought it to the game. I didn’t think we would play like this. We are playing great right now. We are playing with a lot of intensity on the defensive end. We really struggled to get stops in the first six games, but we have started to focus on that.”
Adrian Banks led five Netanya players in double figures with 21 points, while Joseph Jones had 19 points for Gilboa.
A 9-0 run gave Netanya an early lead (21-16) and Lior Lifshits’s buzzer beater ensured the hosts still held a five-point margin (25-20) after 10 minutes.
Gilboa began the second period with a 7-0 surge, capped by a Chris Thomas basket, but there was little to separate the teams in the remainder of the half, with the score tied at 40-40 at the break.
Everyone was waiting for Gilboa’s supposedly superior roster to pull ahead in the second half, but it was Netanya which built a significant margin, with a Brian Asbury steal and basket at the end of a 13-2 run opening a 63-51 gap.
Netanya still held a doubledigit margin at the start of the fourth quarter (63-53) and Hapoel never really looked likely to complete a comeback.
The visitors came within four points on a couple of occasions, but no closer, and Netanya held on for a surprising win.
On Tuesday, Hapoel Jerusalem will wrap-up its Eurocup campaign with a meaningless game at Cibona Zagreb.
Hapoel lost any hope of advancing to the last 16 after suffering a 74-68 defeat to BC Donetsk last week and falling to 1-4 on the season.
Jerusalem got its only victory of the Eurocup campaign against Cibona at home, 89- 73, and it will be looking to at least save some pride with another win on Tuesday.