Tapiro heroics get Hap J’lem back on track

Jerusalem rebounds from its shocking showing in the State Cup semifinals last week with a dramatic 70-67 BSL victory over Bnei Herzliya.

Meir Tapiro 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Meir Tapiro 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
A vintage performance by veteran guard Meir Tapiro helped Hapoel Jerusalem back to winning ways on Monday night.
Jerusalem rebounded from its shocking showing in the State Cup semifinals last week with a dramatic 70-67 BSL victory over Bnei Herzliya at Malha Arena, with the 37-year-old scoring the winning three-pointer with 13 seconds to play, ending the night with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Hapoel was completely outplayed by Maccabi Haifa in the cup semis, losing by 19 points, and it also dropped to a humbling 17- point thrashing at the hands of Maccabi Ashdod in its previous BSL game.
The Jerusalem fans very nearly tasted bitter disappointment once more on Monday, but Tapiro’s triple gave Hapoel a much-needed win after two rough weeks.
Jerusalem had a four-point edge (23-19) after 10 minutes and led by as many as 14 points (33-19) in the second quarter after opening the period with a 10-0 run.
Herzliya closed to within six points (42-36) by the break, but Jacob Pullen’s three midway through the third quarter reestablished a 14-point margin (52-38), only for the visitors to cut the deficit to five points (54-49) by the end of the frame.
Herzliya never gave up the chase and tied the game at 67-67 in the final minute thanks to Jumaine Jones’s free throws.
However, Tapiro came to Jerusalem’s rescue and Hapoel improved to 9-7 on the season to climb up to third place in the standings.
Elishay Kadir added 15 points and eight boards for Hapoel, while Jones had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Herzliya.
Also Monday, Maccabi Ashdod recorded its third consecutive league win, thrashing Ironi Ashkelon 110-83 on the road.
Ashdod seized control by outscoring the hosts 36-20 in the first period and never looked back.
Mardy Collins led six Ashdod players in double figures with 24 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, with Austin Freeman and Diamon Simpson scoring 19 points each. Jarvis Hayes had 18 points for Ashkelon, which has lost its past five games by an average 19.4 points.