Surging Hapoel Eilat looks to secure second place

Hapoel Eilat faces change to advance in playoffs during Sunday's match against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Eli Holman (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Eli Holman
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Eilat can clinch the No. 2 seed in the BSL playoffs with one game to spare on Sunday night, but it will have to defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv to do so.
Eilat improved to 16-9, one game ahead of Maccabi Haifa in third place, with its fourth win in five contests on Wednesday, beating Hapoel Jerusalem 78-71 at Malha Arena.
Oded Katash’s side was edged 72-70 by Maccabi when the teams last met two months ago, and with a visit to Haifa to come in its final regular season game next week, Eilat would like nothing more than to secure the runners-up position at home on Sunday.
Eilat will need to defeat Tel Aviv and for Haifa to lose at home to Maccabi Rishon Lezion to render its final regular season game meaningless.
Both Haifa (15-10) and Rishon (11-14) have lost their way in recent weeks. Haifa dropped to a 76-72 defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday for its third straight loss, while Rishon fell to a fifth consecutive defeat, 83-61 to Barak Netanya.
Also Sunday, Bnei Herzliya (8-16) can guarantee its BSL status for another year with a win at Maccabi Ashdod (10-15).
Herzliya’s seven straight defeats combined with rock-bottom Ironi Ashkelon’s (6- 19) win over Ashdod on Thursday, means that the team from the Sharon has still not completely escaped the danger of demotion.
Ashkelon needs to win its final two games and for Herzliya to lose its last three to avoid relegation. The two teams face off in the last game of the regular season.
Ashkelon’s game at Hapoel Tel Aviv will be played on Thursday.
On Monday, Netanya (14- 11) can secure a place in the top four and home-court advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs with a win against Hapoel Jerusalem (12-12).
Also Monday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (12-12) can book its place in the playoffs with a victory over Hapoel Holon.(11-14).