By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Last season Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv was stopped at the Israeli Winner League semifinals by Bnei Herzliya, and Hapoel Holon took the title in the final, but this time Maccabi intends to go all the way, taking the lead in the semifinal series over defending champions with a convincing 90-76 win at home.
Wade Baldwin was the top scorer with 20 points, but two other players recorded double-doubles: Bonzie Colson with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Lorenzo Brown with 15 points and 11 assists. Roman Sorkin added 13 points for the winning side.
Joe Ragland had a dominant performance for Hapoel with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, but it wasn’t enough as only Chris Johnson followed with 12 points and seven boards.
The guests took the first quarter 25-21, but Maccabi responded with a 15-2 run in the second quarter and went to the break with a 49-43 lead.
Hapoel briefly regained the lead in the third period, but Maccabi got in front again and entered the decisive 10 minutes with 72-64. In a hard fourth quarter, Maccabi’s defense was decisive, as the hosts only conceded 12 points.
Since the semifinal and final series are played in a best-of-three format, Maccabi is on the verge of making it to the last step, where Oded Kattash’s team could meet Hapoel Jerusalem or Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Israeli League semifinals, Game 1:
Maccabi Tel Aviv – Hapoel Holon 90-76 /1-0/
Hapoel Jerusalem – Hapoel Tel Aviv (31/05) /0-0/