Hapoel Gilboa Galil officially punched their ticket to the finals where they will meet Maccabi Tel Aviv after downing Hapoel Holon 78-63 in the replay of game two of their semifinals series.
Avishay Gordon’s squad were forced to replay game two after Holon won an appeal with the Israel Basketball Association’s high court due to the power outage this past Wednesday in Gan Ner that halted the first matchup with 6:58 to go in the game and Gilboa ahead 60-55. The original ruling of a technical defeat which was determined on Thursday was overturned the following day setting up the rematch which took place Saturday night.
Holon came out strong and took a 35-32 lead into the second half on the strength of Joe Alexander’s fine play. But the second half was a totally different story as Kerry Blackshear helped overturn the deficit in the third quarter and then blew open the game in the final frame to take the win and move into the best of there finals series which gets underway on Monday night at Yad Eliyahu.
Blackshear led the way with 24 points and 7 rebounds, Joe Thomasson added 16 points as Jehyve Floyd chipped in with 15 points and Netanel Artzi put in 13 points in the win. Joe Alexander was Holon’s high scorer with 16 points, CJ Harris added 12 points and Nate Sestina scored points in the loss.
With game one slated for Monday night in Tel Aviv at 21:00, game two is scheduled for Wednesday night also at 21:00 in Gan Ner and game three if necessary will be played on Thursday back in Tel Aviv.
Kerry Blackshear and Netanel Artzi were busy for Hapoel Gilboa Galil early on but a 7-0 run paced by Willy Workman inside and Nate Sestina from the outside pulled Hapoel Holon to within 9-7 midway through the first quarter. Joe Thomasson scored a layup while Blackshear added points but Joe Alexander got busy for Stefanos Dedas’s team in the low post with 9 points as the frame ended 19-19.
CJ Harris and Alexander scored for the visitors while Jehyve Floyd countered for Gilboa but a pair of offensive fouls by the hosts helped Holon to a 26-21 lead with 6:52 left in the second quarter. Harris and Bourdillon kept putting in points while Blackshear put down a dunk and Thomasson nailed the forts triple of the game for Gilboa as they trailed 30-29 with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Harris and Blackshear traded buckets but the former nailed a 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer to give Holon a 35-32 advantage at halftime.
Michal Sokolowski opened the third quarter with his first points of the game, Workman added a basket as well but Blackshear, Artzi and Thomasson rattled off an 11-4 run to take a 43-39 lead midway through the period. Artzi inside and Blackshear outside increased Avishay Gordon’s squad lead as Floyd put down an alley-oop dunk. Guy Pnini and Harris began to cut into the Gilboa lead but free throws by Iftach Ziv kept Gilboa in front 53-48 after thirty minutes of play.
Blackshear and Floyd got the fourth quarter underway with points, but Sokolowski and Bourdillon countered for Holon early on. Blackshear with points inside, Thomasson added a bucket and Floyd with a monster dunk bumped up the advantage to 66-55 with 6:18 left in the frame. Floyd kept scoring, Artzi went inside and Cousins did as well as Gilboa ran off with the 15-point win.