Hapoel Gilboa Galil slipped by Hapoel Jerusalem 91-89 to advance to the Israel Basketball League semifinals where they will play the winner of the Nes Ziona and Hapoel Holon series. Avishay Gordon’s squad used a 27-10 fourth quarter to wipe out a 23 point Jerusalem lead on the strength of fabulous play by MVP Jehyve Floyd with buckets, dunks and timely blocks together with Kerry Blackshear and Joe Thomasson to notch the win and stun the hosts.
Floyd led all scorers with 25 points and 10 rebounds while going 10/10 from the field, Blackshear added 16 points while Thomasson and Iftach Ziv scored 15 points a piece in the win. Suleiman Braimoh scored 18 points as Chris Kramer and Idan Zalmanson each added 17 points in the defeat.
Hapoel Jerusalem jumped out to a 14-6 lead midway through the first quarter as Idan Zalmanson ruled the paint and Adam Ariel and Suleiman Briamoh each hit 3-pointers. Chris Kramer drilled a pair of triples, Zalmanson scored his patented top of the key jumper and Eylon Sasson added a layup for the hosts and Jehyve Floyd and Gil Beni countered for Gilboa as Jerusalem held a 28-18 lead after ten minutes of play.
Kramer opened up the second quarter with a steal and dunk and Sasson nailed a corner 3-pointer and Zalmanson added two baskets inside as Jerusalem upped the advantage to 39-21 with six minutes remaining in the half. Netanel Artzi went from downtown, Joe Thomasson put in points as did Floyd and Ziv but Braimoh, Blatt and Zalmanson made sure to send Yonatan Alon’s team into halftime with a 58-39 lead.
Blatt, Braimoh and Ariel started off the third quarter with buckets for Jerusalem while Ziv and Floyd scored for Gilboa but the Reds lead bumped up to 70-47 midway through the frame. Thomasson went from deep, added a layup and hit a midrange jumper, Blackshear scored in the paint and Floyd put down an alley-oop but a deuce by Kramer and a 3 by Blatt kept Jerusalem in the lead 79-64 after thirty minutes of action.
Thomasson, Isaiah Cousins and Blackshear dialled up long distance but Kramer and Braimoh scored their free throws to stay in front 85-77with 5:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. Floyd and Zalmanson traded baskets, so did Cousins and Kramer but Ziv and Cousins cut the Jerusalem lead to 89-85 with 2:27 left in regulation time. Floyd scored inside and added free throws while Blackshear put in his free throws with under a minute to go to give Gilboa the lead for good as Iftach Ziv preserved the win by stealing the ball off a lazy Blatt inbounds pass to punch their ticket to the semifinals.
Nes Ziona upended Hapoel Holon 86-75 to stave off elimination and set up a decisive game 3 on Saturday night for the right to play Hapoel Gilboa Galil. Brad Greenberg’s team took a 26-15 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as Jerome Meyinsse starred with strong play in the paint on both sides of the floor to pick up the win. The center scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to finish the game with an efficiency rating of 48, Braian Angola chipped in with a double-double of his own scoring 20 points and pulled ing dow 11 board while Patrick Miller added 15 points in the win. CJ Harris scored 20 points and Michal Sokolowski scored 18 points in the loss.