Last year’s champions Hapoel Jerusalem continued their winning start to the season as they defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 89-82. The Reds dominated the first half of the Israeli Clasico and were leading 53-29 at half-time in Maccabi’s back yard.
The Yellows staged a huge comeback in the third quarter as they led Hapoel by 14 points but couldn’t do enough to grab the win in a very tight final quarter. Maccabi’s Sylven Landsberg was the MVP of the game netting 22 points in as many minutes while Trevor Mbakwe and Devin Smith both took a solid 8 rebounds each.
However, the side from the capital earned their victory by playing a superb team game – with five players scoring more than 10 points and three players grabbing over 5 rebounds. Hapoel are now sitting at the top of the table with a +38 point difference and will be delighted to have defeated Maccabi away from home so early in the season.
Maccabi Haifa took the win in a low-scoring 70-64 affair against Hapoel Tel Aviv. The home side dominated the first and fourth quarters with Gregory Vargas netting 21 points – including 3 three-pointers – and Alex Chubrevich pulling down 9 rebounds to help Haifa jump to fourth place.
Ironi Nahariya edged a very tight game as they took an 86-84 victory against Hapoel Eilat. Richard Howell led his team to victory with an impressive 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Eilat’s Alade Aminu was even better with 25 points and 12 rebounds – but it wasn’t enough to take the win for his team.
The biggest scoring game of the round saw Ironi Nes Ziona beat bottom of the table Bnei Herzeliya 98-86. The home side took the first quarter by a huge 21 point margin and picked up their first win by holding off Herzeliya’s attempted comeback. Israeli Yuval Naimi put in an excellent offensive display with 25 points and 7 assists while Diamon Simpson and Fuqual Edwin both netted over 20 points and pulled down 9 and 7 rebounds respectively.
Hapoel Holon picked up their second win of the season with a 76-67 victory over Maccabi Ashdod. It was a very tight match with Holon only two points up at the end of the third quarter but they took a 7 point lead in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Ashdod’s Diante Garrett was the top scorer with 19 points while Will Clyburn starred, netting 17 for Holon and took a game-best 8 rebounds.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion defeated Maccabi Kiryat Gat 84-74 with the help of Shawn Dawson’s 23-point game while Chris Wright pulled down 9 rebounds. Only two points separated the teams going into the fourth quarter but the Oranges managed to hold on to take their third win of the season. Rishon are now in second place with a +26 point difference.