Sherf and Rishon next in line for surging Jerusalem

Tzvika Sherf will look to succeed where most of his fellow BSL coaches have failed in recent weeks.

Zvika Sherf  (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Zvika Sherf
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Tzvika Sherf will look to succeed where most of his fellow BSL coaches have failed in recent weeks when his Maccabi Rishon Lezion team visits Hapoel Jerusalem at Malha Arena on Sunday night.
Jerusalem has won eight straight BSL games to improve to a league-best record of 11-3 and opened the Eurocup Last 32 with a tough 69-66 victory at Olimpija Ljubljana on Wednesday.
Hapoel is undefeated in the league in two months and has triumphed in nine of its last 10 encounters in all competitions.
Rishon (4-9) won its first two games under Sherf’s guidance, including in the State Cup quarterfinals.
However, it remained in 11th place out of 12 teams in the league standings following last week’s humbling 85-68 home loss to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
After surprisingly winning seven of its first 10 BSL games, including against the league’s top four teams - Jerusalem, Maccabi and Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa, Ironi Ness Ziona (7-6) has lost its past three contests.
The newly-promoted side will be hoping to bounce back from its first crisis as a top-flight club when it visits Gilboa (7-7) on Sunday.
Gilboa has won its past two games by 17 points each.
Reigning-champion Maccabi Haifa (8-6) has lost four of its past six games after beginning the campaign with six wins from eight contests, but looks to be regaining its early season form following Wednesday’s Eurocup Last 32 victory over CEZ Nymburk.
Brian Randle was back to his best last week after an injury layoff and with playmaker Moran Roth’s return also nearing, Haifa has got plenty of reasons to be feeling optimistic ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Bnei Herzliya (5-9), which has lost three straight games.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat (7-7) visits Barak Netanya (6-8).
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv (9-4) visits Maccabi Ashdod (2-12) and Hapoel Tel Aviv (9-4) hosts Hapoel Holon (7-7).
Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Raviv Limonad, who is currently averaging a league-best 19.2 points per game, will be looking to continue his sensational season for the reds. Not since Doron Jamchi and Amir Katz in the 1998/99 season has an Israeli averaged as many points, with Limonad accumulating at least 15 points in each of his team’s 13 games so far this term.
Limonad has also scored at least 20 points in his team’s past three games and six times overall this season. He reached that mark on just seven occasions in his previous five seasons combined.