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Down but not out! Tel Aviv forces a decisive game 5 in 93-84 win

Photo Dov Halickman

Hapoel Tel Aviv 93-84 Hapoel Jerusalem

Nate Robinson has always been a party crasher and that’s exactly what he did against Hapoel Jerusalem who were looking to advance to the final four at the Drive Inn Arena. The Tel Aviv Red’s led by Robinson’s 25 points were the better team throughout the 40 minutes in front of almost 4,000 rabid fans dressed in Red as both team’s colors are the one and same.

Danny Franco, Jerusalem’s embattled coach couldn’t rely on his veterans as Captain Yotam Halperin scored only 5 points in 31 minutes while Lior Eliyahu shot an abysmal 3/8 for only 6 points in just 20 minutes on the floor. The lack of production cost the team as Eliyahu barely saw any second half action while Donta Smith proved ineffective throughout the final 20 minutes.

Tel Aviv coach Sharon Abrehami may not love his star guard but he certainly was enthralled by his display scoring 25 minutes in 35 minutes of play. After picking up two first half fouls, Robinson was taken out to his dismay but the time on the bench certainly helped him going forward as he focused on what he does best, scoring.

Jeff Allen complimented ‘Lil Nate dropping 18 points and pulling down 15 rebounds and Tre Simmons picked up 15 points going a perfect 8/8 from the free throw line. On the losing end, Eli Holman had a spectacular game scoring 22 points of his own while shooting 8/9 from the charity stripe a rarity for a big man in today’s day and age. However, as close as Jerusalem came to the hosts they were never able to get over the hurdle and take the lead forcing them to play a fifth and deciding game at the Pais Arena in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.

Rishon Le’Zion 65-75 Maccabi Haifa

Haifa forced a decisive game 5 on Wednesday as the Greens took care of Rishon Le’Zion away with the help of 18 points from both Gregory Vargas and Will Graves. Darryl Monroe supplied the offense for the hosts dropping 21 points. Vargas added 8 assists as he aided in the second half comeback after being down by five 34-29 at the half. Chanan Colman’s 17 points also provided the visitors with the much needed offense in order to set up a one game winner takes all match later this week.