Maccabi Tel Aviv blow by Hapoel Jerusalem in Israeli Classico

Apr 2, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv exacted a measure of revenge on Hapoel Jerusalem as they downed the capital city side 88-74 in the Israeli league Classico. The yellow-and-blue controlled the pace of play throughout the game as Lorenzo Brown, Iftach Ziv and Jake Cohen led the way over Hapoel after having fallen to the reds in the State Cup final back in February.

Oded Katash’s crew came into the game with their guns blazing as the bench boss dressed the majority of his Euroleague roster that had won 6 games in a row while on the other side, Aleksandar Dzikic went with a makeshift lineup due to a Basketball Champions League quarterfinal matchup against AEK Athens on Tuesday which put Jerusalem at a disadvantage.

Lorenzo Brown – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Lorenzo Brown, Josh Nebo and Jake Cohen got to work early on while Zach Hankins, Khadeen Carrington and Brandon Brown tried to keep the hosts close but fell behind 53-41 at halftime. Rafi Menco and Iftach Ziv began to score in the third quarter as Brandon Brown countered from deep but the the final frame was all yellow-and-blue as Guy Pnini, Josh Nebo and John Dibartolomeo stopped Jerusalem’s mini-run to put away the win.

Iftach Ziv – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Maccabi was led by Lorenzo Brown with 18 points as Ziv and Cohen each scored 12 points in the win. Brandon Brown paced Jerusalem with 15 points while Hankins chipped in with 12 points in the loss.

Josep Maria Berrocal and Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We went according to our plan and we knew what to expect from Jerusalem,” Maccabi’s assistant coach Josep Maria Berrocal said. “We played better in the second half and shared the ball better than the first. The domestic players helped a lot including Guy Pnini who was very important for us.”

Jake Cohen – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jake Cohen looked back at the keys to the win, “Halftime was important for us to refocus. We had made uncharacteristic mistakes and miscommunicated in the first half but we came out in the third quarter and did a very nice job. There was no drop off with the second unit and that is what helped us win the game.”

Aleksandar Dzikic – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“Congrats to Maccabi they played well and controlled the game,” Jerusalem coach Dzikic began. “At some moments they looked very good and some we looked the way we should. It wasn’t our best performance and if you watched the schedule the last two weeks both teams were tired. We have to put this game behind us and look ahead to Tuesday.”

The bench boss also talked about the upcoming BCL quarterfinal series against AEK Athens, “We can’t pretend that it’s not important because every thing we worked for in the competition was to be get to the final four. We understand the opportunity and we want to use it. We have worked very hard for seven months to put us into this situation and we want to do out best in the BCL playoff games.”

Zach Hankins and Roman Sorkin – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Khadeen Carrington opened the game with a 3-point play for Hapoel Jerusalem while Lorenzo Brown drained a 3-pointer for Maccabi Tel Aviv to get the proceedings underway, Siim Sander-Vene and went from deep but baskets by Josh Nebo and Wade Baldwin gave the yellow-and-blue a slim 12-7 lead midway through the first quarter. Brandon Brown and Lorenzo Brown traded triples, Zach Hankins put in a 3-point play and an alley-oop as Jake Cohen and Lorenzo Brown responded for Oded Katash’s team to take a 28-23 lead after ten minutes of action.

Rafi Menco – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Vene and Itay Segev put in points, Rafi Menco went from deep, Nebo added a 3-point play as Carrington answered with a 3-pointer but Maccabi stayed in front 37-31 with 5:34 left in the second quarter. Lorenzo Brown, Cohen and Colson found points, TJ Cline came back with points but Iftach Ziv drained a 3-pointer at the end of the half to take a 53-41 advantage.

Noam Yaacov – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Noam Yaacov and Or Cornelius went from downtown to begin the third quarter, Cohen countered from deep, Mareks Mejeris also dialled up long distance as the yellow-and-blue stayed in control 61-50 midway through the period. Segev cleaned up a miss, Brandon Brown for a pair went from deep but Menco hit a corner 3-ball to keep Maccabi ahead 69-59 after thirty minutes of action.

John Dibartolomeo – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Cornelius started the fourth quarter with points, Ziv came back with a triple, Hankins dunked, Guy Pnini knocked down a 3-pointer and Nebo jammed as Maccabi quickly went up 80-63 with 5:50 remaining in regulation time. Gilad Levi put down a number of dunks but John Dibartolomeo drilled home a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock as the yellow-and-blue finished off Hapoel Jerusalem to take the victory.

Hapoel Tel Aviv got by Hapoel Eilat 88-80 in a thrilling game down by the Red Sea that saw the reds mount a 4th quarter comeback to notch the win. The hosts started out strong as Antonio’s Cleveland, Eric Griffin and Mangok Mathiang led the way to give Maurizio Buscaglia’s team a 66-63 lead after three quarters. However, Xavier Munford, J’Covan Brown, Chinanu Onuaku along with Tomer Ginat and Bar Timor outscored Eilat 24-15 in the final frame to take the tough victory.

Munford led the way with 19 points, Brown added 18 points and 9 assists while Onuaku chipped in with 13 points in the win. Griffin led all scorers with 22 points, Cleveland scored 18 points while Mathiang checked in with 10 points and 18 boards in the loss.

Xavier Munford – Photo Credit:

“We knew how the game was going to play out and if we would control the offensive flow the result would go in our favor,” Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Danny Franco began. “We ended up winning by 8-points in a game that our opponents shot 18 more times to the basket. We have to move the focus to our game with Hapoel Galil Elyon and then Venezia in the EuroCup round of 16.”

J’Covan Brown also spoke about the victory, “I’m content that we can happily return home with a victory. Eilat is a good team that had been on a winging streak but we knew how to comeback and worked as a team in the fourth quarter to close out the game.”

Sign up for our newsletter


You may also like…

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!