Maccabi Tel Aviv needed late game heroics from Deni Avdija to notch a 67-66 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv in game one their quarterfinal Derby. The Reds controlled the game from the get go, but a 20-10 4th quarter from Ioannis Sfairpoulos’s squad handed the yellow-and-blue a slim one point victory.
Hapoel Tel Aviv had the upper hand throughout the first quarter as Yam Madar and Joaquin Szuchman helped the Reds to a 20-16 lead after ten minutes of play. Jake Cohen and Yovel Zoosman tried to jump start the yellow-and-blue in the second frame but Jordan Davis who missed the last two games came back with a vengeance to end the first half with 12 points as Ioannis Kastritis took an 8 point, 39-31 advantage into halftime.
Othello Hunter scored for Maccabi to cut the lead but Talib Zanna and Ginat kept Hapoel in front 49-40 midway through the third quarter. Daniel Cooperberg found the basket for the Reds as did Madar to give Hapoel a 56-47 lead after thirty minutes of action.
Amare Stoudemire got the 4th quarter off to a quick dunk while Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi to a 8-0 run to start off the final frame but Sek Henry kept the Reds in front 65-62 thanks to a triple, with 2:21 to go in regulation. However, Deni Avdija would have the last work as he scored a layup and then a 3-pointer to will the yellow-and-blue to a 67-66 win.
Hapoel Holon came back from a late 17 point deficit to defeat Hapoel Gilboa Galil 80-77 to take game one of their best of 3 quarterfinal series. With the Galilee team ahead 70-53 in the 4th quarter, Holon held the visitors scoreless for close to 8 minutes as Shavon Coleman, Guy Pnini, Yogev Ohayon and Shlomi Harush led a furious comeback to pick up the victory. Coleman led the way for Holon with 19 points, Jimmy Hall clocked in a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, Roi Huber added 12 points and Guy Pnini finished the contest with 11 points Akil Mitchell scored 14 points and Iftach Ziv added 13 points in the defeat.