Maccabi Hunter Haifa (4-11) will travel to face second-place Hapoel Holon (11-4) at Holon Toto Arena on Saturday, February 3 in the 16th Round of the Israeli Winner League. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
The Greens are trying to snap a six-game league losing streak, while the Purples come into the contest after losing a home game to Sassari 103-92 in the FIBA Champions League.
The Grass is Greener…
Despite the loss to the Yellows from Tel Aviv last game, Maccabi played well throughout most of the contest. The Greens showed grit — rallying from a 14-point deficit in the second half to claim a lead in the fourth quarter and nearly overcome Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Angel Rodriguez excelled with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Reggie Buckner recorded his second-straight double-double on 14 points and 10 rebounds as well as 3 blocks.
Maccabi improved their three-point shooting percentage last game — an area that has plagued the team all season long. Maccabi netted 37 percent (10-of-27) from downtown — second only to their win against Hapoel Tel Aviv when the team shot 40.9 percent from 3-point land.
The Greens also did a good job of moving the ball and taking care of the rock against Tel Aviv — recording their second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58) of the season on 19 assists to 12 turnovers.
The last time Maccabi was hosted by Holon was in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last season. The eighth seed Greens made history after knocking off the first-place Purples in four games in the best-of-five series. Despite losing the first contest at Holon in a heart-breaking double-overtime thriller, the Greens rallied by reeling off three straight miraculous victories, riding their momentum all the way to the Final against Jerusalem.
Oz Blayzer: “We are coming into the game looking to change the direction of our season. It starts with being aggressive on defense. Holon has a lot of offensive tools, so we’ll have to be in their face the entire game.”
Hapoel Holon finds themselves in second place in the league thanks to powerful offensive weapons — leading the league in scoring with an average of 90.1 points per game. Six Holon players are averaging double digits in scoring, led by Glen Rice Jr. who is averaging a league-leading 24.9 points to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Power forward Joe Alexander leads all Israeli players with 16.0 points per game while pulling down 5.9 rebounds per game.