Maccabi Hunter Haifa (4-7) tips off the second round of the Winner League tomorrow (Monday) at 7:00 p.m. as they face Maccabi Rishon Lezion (5-6) on the road. The Greens will look for a payback, after Rishon defeated Haifa by 23 points at Romema on October 27.
Head Coach, Offer Rahimi: “Rishon is an excellent team and it’s going to be a hard game,” head coach, Offer Rahimi, said. “We have to win games — in order to be a playoff team — and to do that, we’re going to have to execute better.”
Angel Rodriguez: “We haven’t forgotten about what Rishon did to us last game, in front of our fans. We have extra motivation to go out there and handle our business.”
FIRST ROUND BY THE NUMBERS:
We’ve highlighted several impressive individual player performances from the first round.
Brandon Bowman: Finished the round as Maccabi’s top-scorer with 14.2 points per game and 15.8 VAL. His best game was against Nes Ziona, recording a career-high 32 points — including an improbable buzzer-beater, which sent the game into overtime.
Angel Rodriguez: Leads the Greens in assists per game (4.8) — good enough for fifth in the league. The Green point guard also is averaging 13.6 points per game — scoring double-digits in 8-of-11 league games. Rodriguez also has 2.4 steals per game — best on the team and second-highest in the league.
Maccabi’s three leading Israeli players have seen improvements across the stat sheet from last season.
Willy Workman: Has stepped up his game up through the first 11 games, averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.5 minutes. Last season, the forward posted 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game.
Oz Blayzer: The team captain is averaging 12.4 points per game, compared to 11.3 points in the regular season last year.
Guni Israeli: Averaging 5.5 points per game with Maccabi, compared to 3.4 points with Holon last season.
Shmulik Brener’s Rishon Lezion team own a 2-3 record at home this season. They have lost their last two home games, falling to Gilboa/Galil (88-83) and Hapoel Eilat (91-85 in overtime).
Rishon Lezion’s four import players are averaging double-figures in scoring through the first round, led by Drew Crawford. The forward is posting averages of 16.7 points (41.9% from 3-PT), 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 30.5 minutes. Murphy Holloway is averaging 13.6 points (fourth on the team), but his rebounding (7.6) and assists (2.2) per game, has lifted him to team-leader in VAL (18.6).