Holon nips Nes Ziona, Gilboa demolishes Jerusalem

Hapoel Holon won a nail bitter over Nes Ziona 92-90 to take game one of their best of 3 quarterfinal series. Right before tipoff, Chris Johnson was named as the Israel Basketball Winner League’s Defensive Player of the Season and also made the 1st team All-Stars while Guy Pnini took home the 6th Man of the Season award.

Guy Pnini and Chris Johnson – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Brad Greenberg’s FIBA Europe Cup champs raced out to a 24-12 first quarter lead but Stefanos Dedas’s squad came right back led by CJ Harris to outscore the visitors 33-13 in the second quarter and move into the lead. Holon looked to have wrapped up the game with a 88-77 lead and just 1:46 left in regulation time, but Braian Angola scored a quick 12 (!) points to pull to within two points but it wasn’t enough as the hosts took the win.

CJ Harris led the way for Holon with 22 points, Chris Johnson added 15 points, Nate Sestina put in 14 points and Michal Sokolowski chipped in with 13 points in the win. Patrick Miller was the high scorer for the visitors with 28 points and 10 assists, Braian Angola added 26 points and Wayne Selden scored 15 points in the loss.

Hapoel Gilboa Galil showed the Israeli basketball world what they are made of with a dominating 85-58 victory over Hapoel Jerusalem to take a 1-0 lead in their best of 3 quarterfinal series. Prior to the game, Iftach Ziv was named Israeli Basketball Winner League Player of the Season and was also part of the league’s 1st Team All-Stars.

Iftach Ziv – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

The Galilee squad broke open the game in the third quarter as Kerry Blackshear controlled the paint and was one of five players in double digits to help Avishay Gordon’s team to the convincing win. Blackshear led all players with 18 points and 9 rebounds, Isaiah Cousins and Iftach Ziv each dropped 14 points and Yotam Hanochi added 12 points in the win. Suleiman Braimoh scored 18 points and Tamir Blatt chipped in with a 10 point and 10 assist double-double in the defeat.

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