Maccabi Bazan Haifa (8-10) will face the league-leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow (Monday) at Menora Mivtachim Arena with tip-off at 8:55pm in the 19th game of the Israeli Super League. The Greens are coming off a buzzer-beater defeat, 85-83, against Hapoel Holon, while the Yellows topped Gilboa/Galil 85-75 in their last league game. Monday’s game is the first of a back-to-back as both teams will match up against one another in the State Cup Semifinal held at Jerusalem on February 16.
Small forward Rene Rougeau followed up his best game of the season (49 VAL) against Gilboa/Galil two weeks ago with another stellar performance against Holon last week. Rougeau tallied 27 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists, making it two consecutive games with a 40+ VAL.
“After a tough loss at home, our team is refocused and ready for battle with Maccabi Tel Aviv”, said Rougeau. “We will have to play our best game to get the job done. It won’t be easy, but we are very focused and hungry to get this win! I hope to see a lot of Green fans in the crowd in Tel Aviv on Monday night.”
The Greens’ point guard, Moran Roth, returned from his calf injury against Holon and contributed 7 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field and recorded 3 dimes in 26 minutes. Center, Alex Chubrevich matched his career high with 12 rebounds in 19 minutes and added 9 pts points. He ranks 8th in the league in rebounds with 7.0 rebound per game (3.1 offensive boards, which leads the league) and is 4th in blocks per game with 1.1 per game.
Last time the teams met, the Yellows defeated the Greens 80-65 at Romema. Rene Rougeau recorded 16 points and Alex Chubrevich notched 7 points, 9 rebounds and dished out 4 assists with a 19 VAL.
“The game against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Menora Mivtachim Arena is a difficult challenge,” said Rami Hadar head coach Rami Hadar. “I hope that we will raise all of our determination and precision in order to meet this challenge.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv comes into the game on a 12-game league winning streak with their last defeat coming in November against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Derby. The Yellows’ Jeremy Pargo played hero last Thursday in the Euroleague with a buzzer-beater three-pointer to give the Yellows an overtime victory against Galatasaray. Pargo has been one of Tel Aviv’s most dynamic players with 12.4 points and 6.1 assists per game. Two former Haifa players have had solid seasons for Tel Aviv thus far, Sylven Landesberg, who is averaging 12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 25.7 minutes and Brian Randle, who in 23.8 minutes is posting averages of 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Devin Smith also has been steady for Tel Aviv with 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. Israeli guard Yogev Ohayon rounds out the Tel Aviv starting five, and is averaging 7.4 points, 5.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game.