Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion took out Maccabi Haifa 91-73 to book their place in the WINNER Cup semifinals. After a close first half that saw Rishon up by just 5 points, Noam Dovrat, Golan Gutt, Darryl Monroe and Isaiah Taylor got busy to dominate the last two frames to take the win.
Prospect Noam Dovrat scored 18 points (4/4 from 3) and 4 assists, Golan Gutt and & Isaiah Taylor added 17 points a piece, Noam Avivi chipped in with 15 points while Darryl Monroe checked in with 8 points, 12 boards and 7 assists. Le’Bryan Nash recorded a double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Roman Sorkin added 15 points and 9 boards while Chris Dowe and Michael Brisker each scored 10 points in the defeat.
1) Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion put on a terrific show with only 3 foreign players but that didn’t matter one bit for Guy Goodes’s squad as Israelis Golan Gutt, Noam Avivi, Ido Flaisher and prospect Noam Dovrat put on quite the show. Gutt hit his shots from the outside, Avivi was a force on the inside, Flaisher worked the paint and well Dovrat was just all over the place for Rishon. Whether it was a midrange jumper, slashing to the basket, drilling his shots from the outside or finding the open man, the young gun did it all.
2) Coach Guy Goodes spoke about what Dovrat can offer the club as well as the rest of younger Israeli players, “We just got Noam Dovrat back today and he was great. Noam’s in his second season and you can see the confidence he has which is very important due to how we built this team in light of the coronavirus as we cut our budget and we knew that we would have to count on the younger players. It’s not just Dovrat, it’s also what Noam Avivi can give us and Ido Flaisher who was superb. We are counting on Blue & White Israelis and we will be able to go as far as they can take us.”
3) Roman Sorkin was fantastic for Haifa. His explosiveness to the basket and finishing at the rim was terrific while he looked bigger and stronger than he did just a couple of months ago. There had been talk of Sorkin moving to Maccabi Tel Aviv but he’s in the Carmel for at least another season and it looks like he’s going to make the most of the opportunity. Coach Daniel Seoane spoke about his budding star and where he still needs to improve, “He’s much better and more mature. He’s still very young with a lack of experience. Everyday he’s learning. You can see the talent he’s got but he’s going to have good days and bad days. It’s a matter of being consistent, when you reach a level for being in this league you need to be the same every day, not so up and not so down, it’s about staying consistent.”
With Sean Armand leaving the club this week, Rishon plays with only three foreigners, Darryl Monroe, Isaiah Taylor and Akil Mitchell who all played well but Goodes is certainly looking to bring in a replacement sooner rather than later. The coach addressed the situation, “The market is difficult and there aren’t any great bargains. We will have to see what we really need and sit after this game to try and make a decision. I’m sure we will end up finding the player we need.”