Yellow-and-blue thrash Ashdod by 29

Eliyahu almost records triple-double; Gilboa/Galil manhandles Holon; Hasharon crushed.

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt_311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt_311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After two nail-biting wins in the BSL, Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to its dominating self on Sunday night, thrashing Maccabi Ashdod 103-74 on the road.
The yellow-and-blue won its last two league games against Ironi Ashkelon and Barak Netanya by a combined six points, but it all but broke Ashdod’s resistance by outscoring the hosts 29-14 in the second period and led by at least 16 points throughout the second half.
“We played superbly,” Maccabi coach David Blatt said.
“We continued the momentum from the Euroleague win against Real Madrid and I hope we can continue it in our next continental game in Istanbul on Thursday.”
Lior Eliyahu had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Maccabi, which shot 70 percent from two-point range (28 of 40). Tal Burstein and David Blu added 13 points each, with Ramel Bradley leading Ashdod with 18 points.
There was further proof to the erratic nature of the BSL this season at Gan Ner on Sunday when Hapoel Gilboa/Galil thrashed Hapoel Holon 85-61.
Gilboa was entering the game on the back of a disappointing defeat to Maccabi Haifa, while Holon crushed Bnei Hasharon by 39 points last week.
However, recent form seems to mean little in the BSL this season, with Gilboa outscoring Holon 49-28 in the second and third quarters combined, rendering the final 10 minutes meaningless.
Dagan Yavzuri led six Gilboa players in double-figures with 15 points, while Moran Rot had 17 points for Holon, which got just two points on 1- of-13 from the field from Ron Lewis, who had averaged 22.3 points in his team’s first three league games.
Elsewhere, Bnei Hasahron suffered its second straight humbling defeat on Sunday, losing 82-59 to Maccabi Rishon Lezion in Herzliya, a week after falling by 39 points at Holon.
Bnei Hasharon trailed by just six points (46-40) at the break, but it was outscored 27-9 in the third period and scored just 19 points in the entire second half.
Brandon Bowman had 19 points for Rishon, with LaceDarius Dunn scoring 19 for Bnei Hasharon, which was still reeling from the shock departure of homesick J.J. Hickson for the US earlier Sunday.
The drama of the night was played out in Ashkelon, where the local Ironi beat Maccabi Haifa 80-77 thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Tony Skinn.
An Avi Ben-Shimol three with 13 seconds to play gave Haifa a 77-75 lead before Marco Killingsworth tied the game from the free throw line with six seconds remaining.
Haifa had a chance to win the encounter, but it turned over the ball and Skinn’s desperation shot from just inside the halfway line as time expired gave the hosts a sweet victory.
Killingsworth had 22 points and eight rebounds for Ashkelon, while Sylven Landesberg continued his excellent start to the season with 29 points and eight rebounds.
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem welcomes back Brian Randle from injury and will hand Dan Grunfeld his debut as it looks to get back to winning ways when it visits Barak Netanya.
Jerusalem has lost two of its first three league games of the season and coach Oded Katash may be out of a job if he fails to lead his team to a victory against the winless Netanya.