Maccabi Tel Aviv ran out to a 7-0 run to begin the game on the help of Yogev Ohayan (12pts) & Brian Randle (17pts) and never seemed to look back defeating their derby rivals by 3 points. Durand Scott (10pts) & Jeronne Maymon (8pts) brought The Reds back in the first frame but coach Guy Goodes’s insertion of Sofoklis Schortsanitis (7pts) and Joe Alexander (2pts) brought the lead to 23-15 by the end of the 1st quarter. Hapoel took the match to Maccabi in the 2nd quarter with strong play by Ezequiel Skverer (9pts) & Larry O’bannon (18pts), however Jeremy Pargo (17pts & 9assists) & Sylven Landesberg (9pts) would have nothing of that and gave the yellow & blue a slim lead at the half 42-37. The 2nd half of play saw the same close play as the first half did with both sides wanting to win the city of Tel Aviv over but it was Brian Randle’s alley-oop dunk that put the punctuation mark on the game to win it for the defending champs 79-76.
Jerusalem had all cylinders clicking Sunday night as they blew away visiting Bnei Herzeliya with fantastic games by Yotam Halperin (24pts) & Bracey Wright (23pts). Lior Eliyahu also came to play scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards for the home town side. Julian Wright with 11 points & 17 rebounds along with Josh Selby (20pts) attempted to keep Herzeliya in the game but came up short as coach Muli Katzurin couldn’t find the answers against a strong capitol city side.
Veteran Israeli coach Tzika Sherf made his return to the coaching sidelines with last place Ashdod and produced an overtime win at Nahariya. Ashdod had three players scoring over 20 points including Ivan Aska with 25 points, 13 rebounds and also drew 10(!) fouls, James Nunally added 24 points as Curtis Kelley chipped in with 20 points. On teh Nahariya side, Mark Lyons poured in 32 points and also helped draw 10 fouls, while Frank Robinson & Kenny Lawson each added 13 points for the loosing side.
Shlomi Harush netted 24 points to lead Holon to a tight 3 point win over Nes Ziona. In a back and forth game Dominic McGuire (8pts, 10rbs & 7 assists) sealed the win with a pair of free throws besting Gil Amitay’s 3-pointer. Nes Ziona had monster double-double games from Craig Smith (30pts & 14rbs) & Mitchell Watt (17pts & 10rbs) but it wasn’t enough to stop Jordan Taylor (17pts), Sean Evans (12pts) & Tony Crocker (10pts).
The Green train kept chugging along scoring an important road win at Gilboa/Galil. After an even 1st quarter which saw Alex Chubrevich (7pts) help Maccabi out to a quick 7-0 lead but Jeremiah Wilson (12pts) and Marcus Lewis (11pts & 7rbs) making his debut with the Reds brought the home side back into the game. Unfortunately for Gilboa/Galil that was as close they would get as Chanan Colman (9pts), Rene Rougeau witha double-double monster game(22pts & 17rbs!) & Dagan Yivzori (16pts) put on a display in quarter number 2 as Haifa opened up a 13-point halftime lead 53-40. Anthony Goods (17pts), Rafi Menco (9pts) & Nimrod Tishman (13pts) attempted to bring Gilboa /Galil back into the game as they outscored Maccabi 24-17 in the 3rd frame, but strong play by Ike Ofoegbu (18pts) salted away the game for the visitors.
Hapoel Eilat dominated every facet of this matchup getting terrific play from Israeli veteran Elishay Kadir with a double-double (17pts & 11rbs) plus solid scoring from Adrian Uter with 13 points as Brian Asbury & Nov Berkowitz each chipped in with 11 points a piece. Jeremis Smith with 17 points & 9 boards along with 15 points from Isaiah Swann were just not enough to keep Sharon Drucker’s team in the game.