Hapoel Gilboa gave a good fight but at the end Maccabi Tel Aviv pulled away to take the 77-60 road victory at Gan Ner to get back onto the winning track after a loss in the Euroleague to Bologna in Italy and a league defeat at home against Bnei Herzliya.
Oded Katash’s squad struggled to get their offense going in the first half as Rami Hadar’s team was able to keep the score close 31-28. But the yellow-and-blue with the help of big man Josh Nebo and guard Iftach Ziv, who made his return back to his old stomping ground, paced the attack over the course of the second half to take the win.
Ziv ended the game with 12 points, Nebo checked in with 15 points and a solid Bonzie Colson added 11 points in the win. Rashard Odomes led the way for Gilboa with 13 points and London Perrantes scored 11 points in the loss.
“I’m happy to be back at this arena and I was very excited to return to Gilboa which is a place very close to me,” Katash began following the game. “They are a good team with a good coach and I hope that they will succeed.”
“About this matchup, this was a good game for us as the defense was solid and we executed well. We did things intelligently committing fouls when we should and in general we knew what we needed to do defensively. We had a very ugly first half offensively as sometimes there are bad quarters. We missed our shots and to compensate we tried to do things that we don’t usually do and we played into their hands. We made the correct adjustments at halftime and the second half we started to score.”
“We are in a process with the squad that is changing,” Hadar said. “We have a good team that we will go to war with. It’s not simple, but the guys are good and tough who can battle and succeed in this mission. I hope that we will be able to win our first game with this new team in a couple of weeks.”
“This game was very important for us and we wanted to get back into good habits ahead of Alba Berlin in the Euroleague,” Nebo explained after the victory. “I think we just stuck with it defensively, we didn’t play as well on offense but on defense we were consistent and we wore the opponent out that way.”
Josh Nebo scored at will for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the paint while Justin Gorham found the hoop for Hapoel Gilboa Galil as the hosts grabbed a 10-6 lead midway through the first quarter. The yellow-and-blue came right back with a vengeance with a pair of poster dunks by Roman Sorkin along with points from the outside and inside by Bonzie Colson to give the visitors a 18-11 lead after ten minutes of play.
Rashard Odomes, Tre McLean and Gorham all scored to begin the second quarter as the pace began to slow down. However, Oded Katash’s squad started to drive to the basket with layups by Rafi Menco, Jalen Adams and Lorenzo Brown, but Odomes dunked while London Perrantes and Tzuf Ben Moshe all scored as Rami Hadar’s squad cut the advantage to 31-28 at halftime.
Maccabi started to make some easy baskets as the third quarter got underway as Colson and Jarell Martin went from downtown and Nebo dunked to stay in front 42-34 midway through the period. But McLean and Willis caught fire to quickly, Brown and Sorkin responded while Ben Moshe and Iftach Ziv traded triples as Maccabi stayed ahead 53-46 after thirty minutes of action.
Benayahu Srur dunked as the fourth quarter began, Nebo came back with a pair of jams himself, while Ziv put one down as well to give Maccabi a 63-52 lead with five minutes remaining in regulation time. Jake Cohen dialled up long distance, Odomes and Jalen Adams traded baskets as the yellow-and-blue wrapped up the win.
Kiryat Ata continued their fine play in their first season in the Premier League as they sunk Hapoel Eilat 98-74 down south at the Red Sea City. The visitors were in control early as Amin Stevens and Chavaughn Lewis who each scored 19 points paced the northerners to the win. Michael Brisker added 13 points and Diante Garrett scored 11 points and dished out 7 assists in the victory. Emanuel Lecomte led the way for the hosts with 15 points while Amit Gershon scored 11 points in the loss.