Hapoel Holon squeaked by Hapoel Gilboa Galil 88-87 in a WINNER Cup quarterfinal thriller at the Drive In Arena in Tel Aviv. The Galilee team led most of the way but untimely fouls by Iftach Ziv and key free throw shooting down the stretch by CJ Harris gave Stefanos Dedas’s squad the victory. Holon will now face Hapoel Jerusalem in the semifinals in the preseason competition on Saturday night.
Harris led the way for Holon with 21 points, Tyrus McGee scored 17 points with 15 coming in the second half, Chris Johnson added 14 points and Isaiah Miles chipped in with 13 points in the win. Iftach Ziv scored 23 points for Gilboa, Isaiah Cousins added 18 points, Jehyve Floyd scored 14 points and Kerry Blackshear chipped in with 13 points for Lior Lubin’s team in the loss.
Gilboa Galil got off to a good start as Iftach Ziv scored early and often for the Galilee squad while CJ Harris, Chris Johnson and Isaiah Miles went from deep for Hapoel Holon, however, Kerry Blackshear, Jehyve Floyd and Isaiah Cousins found the basket for Gilboa as they took a 30-18 lead after ten minutes.
Willy Workman drained a triple to open the second quarter while Miles and Guy Pnini followed up for Holon but Joe Thomasson and Yotam Hanochi scored points as well to keep Lior Lubin’s Gilboa in front 37-32 midway through the frame. Floyd hit his free throws at one end and blocked a shot at the other side, Ziv drilled a triple but Harris split the defense for a basket and scored a 3-pointer of his own while Miles did as well. Cousins continued scoring with circus act layups and Blackshear scored inside as Gilboa held on to a 53-47 advantage at halftime.
Johnson scored a pair of 3-pointers for Holon but Blackshear and Floyd got to work down low as Gilboa stayed in front 62-58 with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter. Johnson hit a corner 3-pointer and put in his free throws while Tyrus McGee began to score as well but Ziv drilled one of his own at the buzzer as Gilboa Galil went into the final frame ahead 74-70.
Willy Workman cut the advantage to begin the fourth quarter and a Guy Pnini triple put Holon in front as McGee extended the lead to 79-76 with 5:17 left in regulation time. Floyd slammed the ball home and then scored free throws while Ziv hit a floater that kissed off the backboard as Gilboa retook the lead 82-81 with 2:24 to go. Cousins made a jumper and then went from downtown to go up 87-85 but a Ziv unsportsmanlike foul sent Harris to the line who knotted the score up at 87 and then scored another one from the charity stripe on additional foul to give Holon the 88-87 win.