Hapoel Tel Aviv downs Holon to take turbulent victory

Hapoel Tel Aviv surprised Hapoel Holon 104-98 in an entertaining clash that saw Reds Head Coach Danny Franco ejected in the second quarter. Visiting Holon jumped out to a double digit lead early but Tel Aviv charged back to cut the gap to just 2-points, 59-57 at halftime. However, the second half saw Yam Madar and Bar Timor score key baskets to help the hosts to the critical win to move further away from the relegation zone. Madar led the way with 23 points, Justin Tillman added 19 points and 8 rebounds, Timor chipped in with 17 points and JP Tokoto scored 16 points in the win. Isaiah Miles scored 28 points Tyrus McGee added 23 points and Chris Johnson scored 18 points for Stefanos Dedas’s team in the loss.

1) The victory for Hapoel Tel Aviv was a crucial one for sure as they moved a bit further away from the relegation zone where it now looks like Maccabi Haifa and Bnei Herzliya will battle it out to see who stays in the top league. Holon looked to have been in control of the clash but once Danny Franco was ejected and the matchup was halted numerous times after the fans had thrown things onto the court, the Reds were able to get back into the game. Terrific play from the likes of Yam Madar and Bar Timor to Justin Tillman, Raz Adam, Tyrique Jones and Paul Stoll helped assistant coach Barak Lederer record the clutch win. “The atmosphere was great, although I didn’t like what they did,” Lederer said. “The guys switched gears especially in their aggressiveness. At the start of the game it looked like it was going to be a long night. If we don’t beat Herzliya on Wednesday this win is worthless.”

Tyrus McGee – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

2) Holon coach Stefanos Dedas wasn’t happy with what went on and who could blame him. He would have liked to have won the game and move up in the Israeli league standings as the second round of games came to an end plus with a massively important Champions League quarterfinal date against the reigning champs San Pablo Burgos on the horizon a win would have given them a nice boost after capturing the Balkan League title last week. “Everyone saw that we have quality and I won’t say we lost because of what happened, but the game as 2.5 hours and it’s not easy to stay concentrated. In Greece after the fans throw things a second time you take the fans out. But I really don’t want to talk about the fans after we didn’t play defense well.”

Dedas also had this advice for the Israel Basketball League:

Hapoel Tel Aviv fans – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

3) After the tragedy at Mount Meron on Thursday night, it was sad to see the behavior of the Hapoel Tel Aviv fans who continuously threw things at the Hapoel Holon players including hitting Guy Pnini and having the game stopped a couple of times. In addition, some Hapoel fans even left the game during the incident thereby missing what was a super contest and one which saw the Reds win. Referee Omer Esteroen warned Hapoel a couple of times that the game would be called should the fans continue to throw things and that he did not want to have a Meron 2. Hapoel chairman Rami Cohen had to take to the microphone to ask the fans to stop and a number of the team’s management stood watching the fans for the balance of the game. Thankfully nothing else occurred and the game came to a sporting conclusion.

The bottom line is, the fans must be able to control themselves for the betterment of the game and the last thing anyone wanted was to have players feel threatened on the court which was expressed by the Holon team. That’s not how you want to win or have to play the game. The referee and commissioner report from the game is quite lengthy and that’s not something anyone wants to see again.

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