Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Bnei Herzliya 96-86 in a game that was never close as the Reds dominated the contest from the get go. Oded Katash’s squad broke open the clash in the third quarter as Sulieman Braimoh, J’Covan Brown and Tamir Blatt couldn’t miss to help Jerusalem up their perfect league record to 6-0.
Braimoh led all scorers with 25 points, Idan Zalmanson added 14 points and 8 rebounds, Brown scored 13 points and Blatt dropped 12 points going 4/5 from beyond the arc. Coty Clarke scored 21 points, Terrell Parks added 16 points and Max Heidegger chipped in with 14 points in the loss.
Hapoel Jerusalem’s big men Idan Zalmanson and Suleiman Briamoh worked the inside while Chris Kramer, Adam Ariel and Tamir Blatt scored from the outside but Kendall Anthony and Terrell Parks answered for Bnei Herzliya to stay close 19-16 midway through the first quarter. Blatt went from deep in the corner while Aviram Zelkovits did the same at the other end, but Zalmanson’s jumper from the top of the key and a pair of triple by J’Covan Brown gave Hapoel Jerusalem a 32-22 lead after ten minutes.
Frank Gaines began the second quarter with a 3-pointer and Elishay Kadir added free throws but Blatt and Zalmanson scored for the hosts but Braimoh put in a quick seven points to bump the Reds lead up to 43-30 with 5:51 left in the first half. Adi Cohen Saban drove into the paint for a layup but Parks and Anthony scored as well, but Braimoh and Ariel added points to take a 54-40 advantage after two quarters of play.
Braimoh got the third quarter started off with points, Blatt scored another one from downtown and Brown hit his patented off balance jumper to give Jerusalem a 65-40 lead midway through the frame. Zalmanson cleaned up a Niv Balul miss, Ariel nailed another 3-pointer and Brown scored to give Oded Katash’s squad a 80-51 lead heading into the last quarter.
Yuval Schniederman and Braimoh scored to begin the fourth quarter while Balul also out in points as Coty Clarke tried in vain to help his team but it was too little too late as Jerusalem cruised to the 10-point victory.
Over in Beer Sheva, Hapoel Holon defeated Hapoel Beer Sheva 89-86 in an exciting game down south in the capital of the desert. Chris Johnson (27 points) and CJ Harris (20 points) paced Stefanos Dedas’s club throughout the clash while Eric Griffin (32 points) kept Rami Hadar’s team close enough for Spencer Weisz to have a chance to tie up the game with the final shot but his effort went off the rim as the visitors earned the win.