Holon vs Nes Ziona for all the marbles + Season wrapup Beer Sheva and Hapoel Haifa

Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

GAME 3 FOR ALL THE MARBLES

A decisive game three is on tap for Saturday night as Hapoel Holon host Nes Ziona for a winner take all trip to the semifinals where Hapoel Gilboa Galil are waiting. Holon took game one, but Nes Ziona came back and grabbed game two as the purples lost Chris Johnson to a concussion. Will Johnson be available? That is the million dollar question but I am sure that if Johnson can play and is cleared to do so, he will be on that court without a question.

There have been a number of storylines in this series so far and boy who wouldn’t want to see them play a 5 or 7 game tilt? It’s been that good. From Holon Coach Stefanos Dedas’s bravado, to the fine play of Brad Greenberg’s short rotation, it’s been a slugfest and a rough and tumble battle across the parquet.

Jerome Meyinsse- Photo Credit: Dov Halickman


While Nes Ziona are playing with a very short bench, Patrick Miller, Braian Angola, Wayne Selden and Jerome Meyinsse have all delivered the goods along with Nimrod Levi and Lior Carerra.

On the other side, Holon lost two critical players in Tyrus McGee to injury and Isaiah Miles who departed due to the security situation. In order to compensate for their loses, Holon signed Michal Sokolowski and Joe Alexander but it’s not easy to bring in two new players and have them easily work their way into a rotation with solid players like CJ Harris, Johnson, Nate Sestina and Maxim De Zeeuw. As short as Greenberg’s rotation is, Dedas played 10 guys last game and perhaps he’s got to shorten up his a bit.

It’s now or never and there isn’t time to help new players find their places in the lineup. Get them in when you really need them, not to give them time to integrate when you’re playing a very quick best of three games series. Dedas may have overplayed their hand just a bit but we will find out on Saturday night who will earn the right to play in the semifinals. One thing is for sure though, both teams will lay it all out on the line.

Spencer Weisz – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

BEER SHEVA RISING

Hapoel Beer Sheva had an excellent season all in all despite begging eliminated from the postseason by number 1 seed Maccabi Tel Aviv. Coach Rami Hadar has nothing to be ashamed of by taking his team to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons since the club has been in the top division.

Of course not having Caleb Agada and Eric Griffin was a big hit to Beer Sheva and that as the case for the other teams that were eliminated so far as well. After a team loses some of their foreigners, this time due to the security situation, it’s really, really tough for any team to take their game to the next level.

Sure, Spencer Weisz continues to grow as a player and a leader for the club (who knows if he will be back next season) and his Princeton teammate Amir Bell really stepped up for the Southern Reds. But without the two players who helped slay the Yellow & Blue back on April 28th, it was almost mission impossible.

Amit Suss – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman


Amit Suss continued to grow into his own as Beer Sheva played consistently all year while Travis Warech was steady as usual on both ends of the court. All in all a good season to continue to build upon as basketball continues to lay it roots in the desert.

Keenan Evans – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

CARMEL REDS LOOKING GOOD

Over at Hapoel Haifa, Elad Hasin did a masterful job in building his team and taking then to 5th place in their first year in the Winner League after twenty years in the lower divisions. Hasin brought in quality players that played able their intended abilities from Keenan Evans who is now being looked at by Euroleague clubs to Lennard Freeman, Rakeem Buckles and the ever present Jason Siggers.

The biggest problem that came up in the postseason was injuries to two mainstay Israelis in Amit Simhon and Karam Mashour which forced Hasin to play other sabras more minutes that didn’t produce at the same level. Evans and Freeman were studs for the Carmel Reds, scoring dishing, rebounding and leading on the court. They took care of one opponent after the next game in and game out.

Elad Hasin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman


There was one hiccup when the team suffered through a bout with Covid-19 but all in all they were able to whether that storm and also keep all of the imports when any left during the security situation.

Haifa can look back at their season and be proud of what they accomplished as they will now have some bigger expectations to deal with going forward.

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