Hapoel Jerusalem held on to down Bnei Herzliya 88-80 on the road as Dainius Adomaitis’s squad scored early and often but Sharon Drucker’s team mounted a furious comeback over the final frame to almost steal the game. Suleiman Braimoh, Idan Zalmanson and Malcolm Hill scored in bundles to grab a 72-40 lead in the third quarter, but Max Heidegger, Abdul Gaddy and Terrell Parks helped the hosts storm back to pull to within 81-77. However, Chris Kramer who made his return after being on the sidelines with a minor injury for a little over a month, scored the decisive basket while Stanton Kidd and Zalmanson hit their free throws down the stretch to notch the win.
Braimoh led the Reds with 22 points, Zalmanson added 19 points, Hill chipped in with 17 points and Kidd scored 12 points in the win. Heidegger scored 22 points for Herzliya while Gaddy added 16 points and Parks notched 12 points in the defeat.
Elijah Thomas and Elishay Kadir got the game off and running with a pair of baskets inside for Bnei Herzliya while Aviram Zelicovitz also added points off the break but Suleiman Braimoh hit a corner 3-pointer to close the gap to 8-6 midway through the first quarter. Briamoh scored off a turnover, Stanton Kidd drained a corner triple while Braimoh continued to do as he pleased down low. Malcolm Hill also got into the act as he glided to the hoop for a 3-point play and Adam Ariel drilled a triple as Max Heidegger tried to keep the hosts close but were down 28-14 after ten minutes of action.
Briamoh kept scoring and Idan Zalmanson added points, but Thomas worked the paint and Heidegger drained a pair of 3-pointers as Herzliya began to cut the lead to 40-28 with 5:23 remaining in the second quarter. Coty Clarke dunked off a turnover for Sharon Drucker’s squad and Abdul Gaddy scored as well but Hill hit a floater at the end of the shot clock and added a triple to give Dainius Adomaitis’s team a 50-34 lead at halftime.
The third quarter got underway with points from Jerusalem forward Su Braimoh, Kramer went coast to coast for an easy layup and then drilled home a 3-pointer, Zalmanson put in a pair of uncontested points inside and Hill went from downtown to bump the lead up to 62-39 midway through the period. Zalmanson chalked up a 3-point play in the key, Tamir Blatt went from beyond the arc, Braimoh scored inside and Hill dropped a corner 3-ball as Terrell Parks, Gaddy and Kadir answered for the hosts but the Reds went into the final frame ahead 74-53.
Gaddy started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, Parks notched points inside, Heidegger added a layup and a triple to cut the Jerusalem lead to 81-67 with five minutes to go in regulation time. Heidegger hit back to back balls from deep, Parks added points to bring the Reds advantage down to just 4-points, 81-77 with 2:54 remaining. Kramer sliced up the Herzliya defense for a layup as while Kidd and Zalmanson scored their free throws to sew up the 8-point victory.
Maccabi Tel Aviv dunked Hapoel Haifa 104-67 up north as they outscored the hosts 54-25 in the second half to take the road victory. Keenan Evans and Karam Mashour paced Elad Hasin’s squad early, but they were no match for the yellow-and-blue who featured seven players in double digits as Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s crew blew Haifa away over the final twenty minutes. TJ Cline notched a double double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Sandy Cohen, Oz Blayzer and Ante Zizic each scored 12 points in the win. Evans with led the reds with 20 points and Mashour added 16 points in the loss.
Hapoel Holon got by Maccabi Haifa 79-70 to get back onto the winning track after falling to Pinar Karsiyaka in Champions League play earlier in the week. The Greens surprised the visitors out of the gate with a solid first quarter thanks to Roman Sorkin who scored 27 points, his career high in league play. But Stefanos Dedas’s squad came back strong in the second quarter as Tyrus McGee (18 points), Chris Johnson (16 points), CJ Harris (14 points) and Isaiah Miles (12 points) led the way to the win.