Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Nes Ziona 104-79 to take game 1 of the best of 3 quarterfinal series in the capital city. The Reds controlled the contest for the first 25 minutes thanks to strong play by Suleiman Braimoh, but the visitors knotted up the score at 60 late in the third quarter. However, Jeremy Pargo nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the frame to give Oded Katash’s squad a 70-64 lead as they never looked back to take the 25 point win. Game two will take place at Lev HaMoshava in Nes Ziona on Sunday night at 21:15.
Braimoh led the way for the Reds with 21 points and 7 rebounds, James Feldeine added 15 points, NImrod Levi fell one rebound short of a double double as he finished the game with 15 points and 9 boards while Tamir Blatt chipped in with 6 points and 8 assists. Rayvonte Rice scored 25 points for Nes Ziona as Cameron Oliver added 21 points and 9 rebounds and JP Tokoto scored 16 points in the loss.
Suleiman Briamoh was a force for Hapoel Jerusalem early on in the first quarter as the forward scored 9 points to help the Reds to a quick 16-8 lead midway through the frame. James Feldeine hit a pair of triples but Cameron Oliver and Rayvonte Rice found the basket for Nes Ziona as the Reds held a 6-point, 24-18 advantage after ten minutes.
John Holland began to heat up with points for Oded Katash’s squad as they ripped off a 7-0 run to start the second quarter as the Reds stayed in front 38-29 with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Tamir Blatt drained a 3-pointer off a perfectly placed screen while JP Tokoto put down a mega dunk for Nadav Zilberstein’s team at the other end as Jerusalem led 47-35 at halftime.
Rice, Tokoto and veteran guard Raviv Limonad began cutting into the Jerusalem advantage but Emanuel Terry and Feldeine kept the Reds in the lead 55-47 midway through the third quarter. Rice, Limonad and Oliver all scored for Nes Ziona as they pulled to within 3 points but Jeremy Pargo hit a triple at the buzzer to give Jerusalem a 70-64 lead after thirty minutes.
Idan Zalmanson opened the 4th quarter with points as did Nimrod Levi and Braimoh as Jerusalem bumped the lead quickly up to 79-67 with 7:35 remaining in regulation. Levi continued to score as did Terry and Bar Timor and Nes Ziona couldn’t answer the Reds power surge as they cruised to the 104-79 triumph.
Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion beat Maccabi Haifa 87-72 at Beit Maccabi to tale a 1-0 lead in their quarterfinal matchup. Guy Goodes’s squad jumped out to a 21-12 lead after ten minutes and never looked back thanks to a 27 point, 11 rebound performance by D’Angelo Harrison. Zach Hankins also clocked in a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Darryl Monroe scored 14 points and Alex Hamilton added 13 points in the win. Reggie Upshaw scored 14 points, Andrew Andrews added 13 points and captain willy Workman chipped in with 11 points and 8 rebounds in the defeat. Game 2 will take place on Sunday night at Romema in Haifa at 19:25.