By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The last game of the Winner League Regular Season was interrupted for approximately twenty minutes due to a scary injury of Ante Zizic late in the first half.
Zizic, 25, slammed his head and lost consciousness. He was removed on a stretcher. The Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv center was rushed to a hospital and underwent further tests, the team announced. He has since regained consciousness but will remain hospitalized overnight, as noted in the latest official update on his status.
Struggling to overcome the strong emotions from watching their teammate fall on the court, Maccabi surrendered a slim lead and eventually lost in the second overtime, 123-114, to Hapoel B-Cure Laser Haifa at home. The finishing record of 18-9 fell shy of Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem’s 19-8 and thus placed the team coached by Avi Even in the second seed of the Israel league’s Playoffs.
Keenan Evans scored a season-high 29 points in the losing effort. Angelo Caloiaro, Jalen Reynolds, and Khyri Thomas were all ruled out of the rescheduled Round 25 game. For the visitors, Amit Simhon paved the way for the win generating a career-high 41 points.
On Sunday, Sacramento State product Nick Hornsby posted a triple-double leading Hapoel Altshuler Shaham Be’er Sheva to the win, 95-76, against Maccabi Effie Capital Rishon Lezion. Wrapping up his 2021-22 campaign in Israel, he registered 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists.
The Playoffs featuring the top eight teams of the Regular Season are scheduled to begin this week. The winner of a best-of-five series will progress from the Quarterfinals to the Semifinals before the best-of-three series take over the rest of the way.
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (1) – Hapoel Gilboa Galil (8)
Hapoel U-NET Holon (4) – Hapoel Nofar Energy Galil Elion (5)
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (2) – Hapoel SP Tel Aviv (7)
Bnei Ofek Dist Herzeliya (3) – Hapoel B-Cure Laser Haifa (6)