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Hapoel Jerusalem & Rishon Le’Zion advance to Final Four

Dov Halickman Photography

Hapoel Jerusalem 86-84 Hapoel Tel Aviv

Hapoel Jerusalem pulled the game out at the death as they came all the way back from almost 20 points down in the first half to win by two, 86-84 over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Nate Robinson (22pts) and Jeff Allen (19pts & 10rebounds) led Hapoel Tel Aviv in the first quarter helping the Reds to a 12 point lead 35-23 while Donta Smith (33pts) tried to keep his side in the game. Coach Sharon Abrehami took Robinson out for the second frame as the guard had picked up three fouls in the early goings. Abrehami’s plan worked to a “T” but Jerusalem was able to cut their deficit to only 6-points at the half on a buzzer beater 3-pointer by big man Tony Gaffney (14pts).

Following some serious back and forth play after the break, Jerusalem finally took the lead late in the 4th quarter as they now head into the Final Four to face Hapoel Eilat in one of the semifinals.

Jerusalem will need to have all hands on deck for the semifinal clash as Israelis Yotam Halperin and Lior Eliyahu have not played up to par the past couple of games and had it not been for Donta Smith’s monster game the Capital City Reds would’ve been watching the Final Four from home.

Maccabi Haifa 60-70 Rishon Le’Zion

Rishon finally wrapped up the series after after having taken a 2 games to none lead only to see the Greens win two games in a row to force a deciding 5th game. Darryl Monroe dropped 27 points while Mark Lyons scored 12 points to help the Oranges to the big win. Haifa’s Gregory Vargas picked up a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds but it wasn’t enough to find their way into the Final Four. Rishon will now face Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1st semifinal matchup this coming Monday night.