Maccabi Hunter Haifa will battle Maccabi Ashdod at Romemea Arena on Sunday (Dec. 24) in a State Cup Round of 16 competition with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
Maccabi is looking to bounce back after falling to Gilboa/Galil last Monday on the road, which snapped a three-game winning streak.
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Last season, the Greens were ousted by Ashdod on the road in the State Cup quarterfinals, falling 95-90 in a tightly contested game. Maccabi’s Captain Oz Blayzer scored 14 points and 6 rebounds in 25 minutes in that game.
The teams faced one another in the Greens’ first league game of this season. Maccabi will be looking for payback after being routed by Ashdod, 90-61, on the road.
There are two former Maccabi Hunter Haifa players on Ashdod’s roster. Netanel Artzi, who was loaned recently from the North to the Southern team, as well as center Alex Chubrevich, who played four years in Green. Ashdod’s head coach, Brad Greenberg, began his Israeli coaching journey with the Greens — guiding the team to the historic championship in 2013.
Offer Rahimi: “The importance of this game is clear to us. It’s one game that we need to win, in order to go to the next stage in the Cup.”
Oz Blayzer: “Cup games are always harder — since it’s a knockout. Ashdod is a good team and we will have to bring commitment, aggressiveness and to play as a group all game long. Despite last week’s loss in the league, we’ve had positive momentum and we want to keep it going with our home fans in the stands.”