HOLY LAND’S WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WEEKLY UPDATE

Nov 24, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

We present you with the Sports Rabbi’s update of women’s hoops from the Holy Land – whether they’re playing in Israel, Europe or the US, we are here to let you know what you need to know in Israeli women’s basketball!

ATHENA WINNER LEAGUE GETS UNDERWAY
The Athena Winner League (Israeli’s premier women’s basketball league) began on Monday night after a delay of 35 days due to the Swords of Iron War. Each of the five games were played with photos of hostages plastered over seats in the crowd, indicating that while the players are back on the court, we are still in the midst of a war here in Israel and we are still yearning for the return of all hostages who were taken to Gaza by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

A ceremony took place prior to each game to mark the ongoing war. While the season has started without foreign players – giving local players the opportunity for more minutes – one of Maccabi Haifa’s new signings, Jawan Muhammad, has already been released from the team, following footage of her seeming to refuse to hold up a sign with a photo of a hostage in the pre-game ceremony, while the rest of her teammates and opponents did.

Round 1 Results (home teams listed first)
Hapoel Petach Tikva defeated by Elitzur Ramle 53-79. Best for Petah Tikva: Lihi Azouri (16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal) and Ofir Parpara (19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal). Best for Ramle: Eden Rotberg (22 points, 2 rebounds 2 assists and 2 steals), Tslil Vaturi (19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals), Yarden Danan (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals) and Daniel Raber (12 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals).

Elitzur Holon defeated by Maccabi Ramat Gan 51-78. Best for Holon: Ayala Roth (16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal) and Noa Zelivanski (12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist). Best for Ramat Gan: Hadar Hadad (24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block), Gili Eisner (17 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals) and Alis Hatokay (13 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists).
ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem defeated by Maccabi Ashdod 54-72. Best for ASA Jerusalem: Tamar Bar Gal (20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists) and Ofek Talker (11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal). Best for Ashdod: Tal Lev (16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks), Tal Yakov (12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals) and Danielle Karsh (8 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals).

Hapoel Lev Jerusalem defeated Hapoel Rishon Letzion 79-67. Best for Hapoel Jerusalem: Shir Tirosh (23 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals), Noor Kayuf (18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals) and Alex Cohen (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block). Best for Rishon Lezion: Amit Terner (16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block) and Yael Tenenbaum (16 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals).

AS Ramat Hasharon defeated Maccabi Haifa 65-61. Best for Ramat Hasharon: Dor Saar (27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists), Danielle Kreinin (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal) and Rotem Schuster (8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal). Best for Haifa: May Revahe (19 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal) and Layan Odeh (16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists).

Round 2 Schedule (home teams listed first) – Monday November 27, 2023
Maccabi Ashdod vs Hapoel Lev Jerusalem – 18:00 IST (11:00 EST) at Ha’Kiriya Arena, 60 Ha’Atsma’ut St., Ashdod (live on 5Sport).
AS Ramat Hasharon vs Hapoel Rishon Letzion – 19:00 IST (12:00 EST) at Oranim School Arena, 28 Arlozorov St., Ramat Hasharon (live on Israel Basketball Association TV).
Elitzur Ramle vs Maccabi Haifa – 19:00 IST (12:00 EST) at Kiryat Menachem Arena, 29 Yair Stern St., Ramle (live on Israel Basketball Association TV).
Maccabi Ramat Gan vs ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem – 19:00 IST (12:00 EST) at Zisman Arena, 85 HaTayasim Rd., Ramat Gan (live on Israel Basketball Association TV).
Hapoel Petach Tikva vs Elitzur Holon – 19:00 IST (12:00 EST) at Yitzhak Shamir Arena, 2 Ha-Akhim Bakhar St, Petah Tikva (live on Israel Basketball Association TV).

Standings After Round 1
1. Maccabi Ramat Gan (1-0, +27)
2. Elitzur Ramle (1-0, +26)
3. Maccabi Ashdod (1-0, +18)
4. Hapoel Lev Jerusalem (1-0, +12)
5. AS Ramat Hasharon (1-0, +4)
6. Maccabi Haifa (0-1, -4)
– – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – — – – –
7. Hapoel Rishon Letzion (0-1, -12)
8. ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem (0-1, -18)
9. Hapoel Petach Tikva (0-1, -26)
10. Elitzur Holon (0-1, -27)

ATHENA WINNER TOURNAMENT STARTS UP AGAIN
The Athena Winner Tournament (the Israeli premier women’s basketball pre-season tournament) semifinals took place on Thursday night, delayed after originally being scheduled for October 7 due to the war.

Semifinal Results (home teams listed first)
AS Ramat Hasharon defeated by Hapoel Rishon Letzion 68-72. Best for Ramat Hasharon: Dor Saar (32 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal) and Rotem Schuster (11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal). Best for Rishon Letzion: Yael Tenenbaum (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal), Dorian Dagan Switch (18 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals), Hila Karsh (13 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals) and Amit Terner (13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks).

Hapoel Lev Jerusalem defeated by Elitzur Ramle 65-85. Best for Hapoel Jerusalem: Alex Cohen (17 points and 8 rebounds) and Noor Kayuf (14 points and 6 rebounds). Best for Ramle: Jennie Simms (27 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists) and Eden Rotberg (24 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists).

The final between Hapoel Rishon Letzion and Elitzur Ramle will be played next month, with the location, date and time to be confirmed at a later date.

STATE CUP DRAW HELD, GAMES TO KICK OFF NEXT MONTH
The Israel Basketball Association held the draw for the State Cup during the week, with the quarterfinals taking place on Thursday December 7 and the semifinals taking place on Thursday December 28.

Quarterfinal Schedule (home teams listed first) – Thursday December 7, 2023 (times to be confirmed)
Game 1: ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem vs Elitzur Holon at Cosell Center, Museums Avenue, The Hebrew University, Kiryat Edmund J. Safra, Jerusalem 91904
Game 2: Maccabi Ramat Gan vs Hapoel Petach Tikva at Zisman Arena, 85 HaTayasim Rd., Ramat Gan

Semifinal Schedule (home teams listed first) – Thursday December 28, 2023 (times to be confirmed)
Winner of Quarterfinal Game 1 vs Hapoel Rishon Letzion with location to be confirmed
AS Ramat Hasharon vs Maccabi Ashdod at Oranim School Arena, 28 Arlozorov St., Ramat Hasharon
Winner of Quarterfinal Game 2 vs Elitzur Ramle with location to be confirmed
Hapoel Lev Jerusalem vs Maccabi Haifa at Malha Arena, 3 Avraham Stern St., Jerusalem

ISRAELIS OVERSEAS
Europe
Hapoel Rishon Letzion’s Eden Zipel, who was signed by Belgian team Castors Braine as a temporary replacement for the injured Nastja Claessens, recorded 2 points and 3 rebounds in a little over 17 minutes in the 53-93 loss to the London Lions in EuroCup group stage action. The Belgians find themselves in second place behind the Lions in the group with a ticket through to Play-Off Round 1, with their next game against Portuguese team GDESSA-Barreiro scheduled for Wednesday November 29 at 21:00 IST (14:00 EST).

NCAAW
The 5-1 Indiana Hoosiers and Team Israel star Yarden Garzon is having no signs of slowing down in her sophomore season, averaging 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game so far in 2023-24. The no. 21 ranked Hoosiers have won four games in a row, including a 71-57 win over no. 19 Tennessee Lady Vols, a game in which Garzon recorded 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. The Hoosiers will next take the court later this week against the 4-2 Maine Black Bears

Yarden Garzon’s sister and fellow Team Israel star, Oklahoma State Cowgirls’ junior forward Lior Garzon, has also started the 2023-24 season strongly individually, averaging 10.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. The Cowgirls, who are on a 3-game losing streak, will be looking to bounce back against the 2-1 Missouri State Lady Bears on Sunday.

Junior guard for the 3-2 Toledo Rockets, Emmi Rinat, is averaging 4.3 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists for the 2023-24 season, with her top individual game Saturday night’s 73-58 victory over the 2-4 North Dakota State Bison, in which Rinat recorded 13 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal and 6 blocks. The Rockets next play against the 5-1 Wolverines in the first week of December.

Freshman guard Shirel Nahum, playing for the 3-2UC Irvine Anteaters, has started her college career averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists, including a 12 point, 5 rebound and 1 block game in Friday’s 74-63 win over the St. Thomas Tommies. The Anteaters next face the 4-1 Pacific Tigers this weekend.

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