Alexander The Great helps Nahariya to stunning win over Rishon; Haifa drops Jerusalem

Nahariya stunned Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion 93-91 to hand their new head coach Shai Segalovich his first win on the sidelines. After Guy Goodes’s squad demolished the northerners earlier in the week, Joe Alexander was back in the lineup and played a central role in helping the club with fine shooting, intelligent passing and all around solid play especially down the stretch to notch the victory.

Alexander led the way with 23 points and 7 rebounds, McKenzie Moore added 17 points and 10 assists, Michael Young chipped in with 17 points while Or Leumi and Malik Newman each scored 11 points in the win. Isaiah Taylor scored 24 points for Rishon while Darryl Monroe put in 15 points and Golan Gutt 14 points in the loss.

Isaiah Taylor & Joe Alexander – Photo Credit: Oded Carni

Nahariya came out with energy and passion in the first quarter as Joe Alexander and Michael Young got to work with 3-pointers and a big dunk by the former as Darryl Monroe paced the hosts, but it was a terrific triple by Ziv Ben Tzvi at the buzzer that gave the Northerners a 25-20 lead.

Jaron Blossomgame scored a pair of baskets for Nahariya but Isaiah Taylor and Nimrod Tishman countered for Rishon to keep the game tight. Or Leumi hit his shots from downtown, however, Taylor was a one man wrecking crew as he bumped up his game total to 17 points to give Rishon a 47-45 advantage at halftime.

Noam Dovrat – Photo Credit: Oded Carni

Michael Young began to score in bunches to start the third quarter, but buckets by Taylor, Monroe and Noam Dovrat kept Guy Goodes’s squad in front. Ben Tzvi sent a full court pass to Young for an easy deuce, Malik Newman got busy from deep as Nahariya grabbed a 71-67 lead with ten minutes to go in regulation.

Nahariya Celebrates

Monroe and Golan Gutt score for Rishon, but McKenzie Moore and Ben Tzvi replied, as Alexander blew by his defender for a dunk to give Nahariya a 82-80 lead with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Alexander and Mitchell traded midrange baskets, Taylor and Alexander traded triples and Mitchell put down a jam to go up 91-89 with 27.7 seconds left. Alexander backed Mitchell into the paint as the defense collapsed around him leaving Moore wide open beyond the arc waiting for the pass as he nailed the 3-pointer to help the northerners to the 93-91 win.

Joe Alexander – Photo Credit:

Alexander The Great

What. A. Great Game! played at a terrific pace with big time shooting in the clutch, intensity, action, technicals and more! The fourth quarter was just nasty basketball with Joe Alexander and a range of Rishon players trading buckets back and forth and back and forth. But it was Alexander who played facilitator with 14 seconds left as he sent the ball to newcomer McKenzie Moore for the eventual game winning triple. “They are both big time players,” said Shai Segalovich who celebrated his first win as a head coach in the top division. “I’ll ride them to the end, there isn’t any other option. We rely on Joe and he knows that as we decided to strengthen the team on other areas and not at the five position, so he is very important to us.” Or Leumi who played with Alexander at Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 2014/15 season knows what the NBA Lottery Draft pick brings to the table, “Joe is a great player in many aspects of the game and he is our leader. I just want him to continue this way and keep pushing us so we can win even more games.” As for Moore, Segalovich spoke about what he sees in his new signing and the confidence he has in the team being able to avoid relegation. “Mack had a dream for all of these years to be a big time player and that is why I brought him in. He finished the game wit 10 assists but we also were able to have a preseason in the middle of the season due to the lockdown break without games. It won’t be the basketball that will keep us up in the league but the character, intensity, aggressiveness. That is what will keep us here.

Or Leumi – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Great Game Part 2

Continuing on the theme of what a great game this was, Leumi agreed wholeheartedly with that assessment, “Our shooting percentage was up and that came to fruition because we played as a team. We did as the coach asked of us and that is how we will win games. All of the players are now on the same page and I am really happy everything came together today as I am really enjoy being a part of this team and I just want this to continue.” Leumi continued his thoughts about how the team was able to pull it together after a brutally tough start to the season, “We will stay together and work hard as a team. This really brought a lot of joy to us after such a rough start and to win such a close game was great.”

Shai Segalovich – Photo Credit:

Winner, Winner!

What’s it like to win your first game as a head coach? Well, let’s ask Shai Segalovich how he felt. “This was more difficult than the birth of my children! It’s a great feeling and I am sure that the players expected to win and they wanted to win as we were able to see on the court.” The two teams had played each other on Sunday night and Rishon absolutely dismantled Nahariya but today was a totally different story as Segalovich explained, “Mentally this was in a way payback. We didn’t really work on the basketball side, but on the mental side and that is where we put the emphasis of our preparation. The guys understood that they needed to bring something different to the table and when tis payback it’s a lot easier to do.” Leumi also spoke about what Segalovich brings to the table, “From the moment Shai arrived there has been a renewal and a lot of motivation. I really like Shai and believe that he is a big time coach. We just have to continue on our way, push, keep working hard like we are doing and I believe the results will happen.”

Golan Gutt – Photo Credit: Oded Carni

Over at Rishon, there seemed to be a lot of shock about what had happened as Golan Gutt shared his feelings about the defeat, “This was a tough loss and we have to do some soul searching in order to find way to move forward with positive momentum. People here care and we will work hard to come out of this strong. We are inconsistent and we have to go by the book. We are good people and like to play with each other. I believe that things will come together.”

Hapoel Haifa defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 101-99 as Keenan Evans drilled home the game winning triple plus a trio of free throws to help the Carmel Reds to the home win. Amit Simhon scored 23 points, Evans added 22 points and Jason Siggers scored 19 points in the win. Malcolm Hill led Jerusalem with 19 points, Suleiman Braimoh chipped in with 16 points and J’Covan Brown put in 15 points in the defeat.

Keenan Evans – Photo Credit:

“We needed a bucket, the team believed in me and I made a good move. If you put in the work you just believe in it,” said Evans following the game.

Jerusalem coach Dainius Adomaitis expressed his disappointment with the loss, “We just defensively gave up easy buckets. We weren’t mentally in the right place. At the end of the send quarter we gave up four 3-pointers and after mistakes they pointed fingers at each other. We need to change these things as fast as possible from the defensive side. Communication, determination, concentration from the defensive side.”

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