Hapoel Jerusalem & Rishon Le’Zion to tip off in Israel basketball finals

Maccabi Tel Aviv 69-71 Rishon Le’Zion

Rishon Le’Zion shocked Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Pais Arena in Jerusalem defeating the Yellow & Blue by 2 points, 71-69. The loss finally put Maccabi out of their misery following one of the most disappointing season’s in franchise history. Zan Tabak will most likely be out as coach and many players will exit stage left as well.

Darryl Monroe led Rishon with 20 points while Mark Lyons added 19 points and Chris Wright dropped 15 in the victory. Taylor Rochsetie did most of Maccabi’s damage with 20 points and Yogev Ohayon scored 15 in the loss.

This marks the second straight year that coach Arik Shivek has knocked Maccabi out of the playoffs prior to the finals and it’s the first time in 50 years that Maccabi has gone two years in a row without featuring in the last game of the season.

Hapoel Jerusalem 82-78 Hapoel Eilat

Eilat Head Coach Oded Katash came into the contest with a game plan and what a plan it was. Eilat kept it tight throughout the 40 minutes but came in short right at the end eventhough they had been leading by four points as the clock ticked down.

Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin who had both been missing in action against Hapoel Tel Aviv led the way for the Reds as Eliyahu picked up a double double scoring 16 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. Halperin scored 12 points as the captain looked like his old self. Poor shooting by Eilat did the southern side in as Deandre Kane (22pts + 13rbs), Alade Aminu (20pts + 16rbs) each went 1/4 from beyind the arc while Afik Nissim and Khalifd Wyatt went an atrocious 1/9 from 3-point land.

Jerusalem will now face Rishon Le’Zion in Thursday’s winner take all final.

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