The Athena Winner Tournament, the Israeli women’s basketball preseason tournament prior to the main Athena Winner League season, got underway on Monday night with AS Ramat Hasharon defeated Elitzur Holon 66-49 in a low-scoring affair at Holon’s Ariel Sharon Arena, while Hapoel Lev Jerusalem defeating Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan 85-78 at Ramat Gan’s Zisman Arena.
Ramat Hasharon beat Holon in low-scoring affair
Holon started strongly, leading 11-2 after 5 minutes, before Ramat Hasharon pulled back the lead to four points at the end of the first quarter, with the home team going into the first break up 16-12. By halftime Ramat Hasharon go tout to a double-digit 35-24 lead and they increased the lead at the next change as well, leading 53-39 going into the final quarter, extending the lead further to finish 66-49 victors. Kseniya Malashka (19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists) led the scoring for the winners, while Holon captain Noa Zelivanski (11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals) led the scoring for the home team.
Hapoel Lev Jerusalem beat Ramat Gan in close contest
Similarly, in Ramat Gan the home side got out to a strong start, leading by double-digits in the first quarter before Jerusalem brought the lead back to 7 points at quarter time, with Ramat Gan up 23-16 after 10 minutes. Jerusalem held a slender 37-36 lead going into halftime, which was extended by a point after three quarters with the visitors leading 59-57. The teams traded baskets in a tense final quarter, before Jerusalem managed to pull away, eventually winning 85-78. Alyssa Baron-Peleg top-scored for the winners (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block) and captain Alex Cohen supported strongly (19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block), while for Ramat Gan Bria Goss led all scorers (27 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals) and captain Nofar Shalom also put in a strong performance (16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists).
The tournament quarterfinals are scheduled to take place on Thursday October 5, with free entry for fans:
Elitzur Ramle v Maccabi Haifa (Kiryat Menachem Sports Arena, Yair Stern 29, Ramle) – 18:30 IDT (11:30 EDT)
Hapoel Lev Jerusalem v Maccabi Bnot Ashdod (Malha Arena, Avraham Stern 3, Jerusalem) – 18:30 IDT (11:30 EDT)
AS Ramat Hasharon v Hapoel Bnot Petach Tikvah (Oranim School Sports Arena, Arlozorov 28, Ramat Hasharon) – 19:30 IDT (12:30 EDT)
Hapoel Rishon Letzion v ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem (Gan Nahum Sports Arena, Herzl 123, Rishon Letzion) – 18:30 IDT (11:30 EDT)