Maccabi Bazan Haifa (12-14) will travel tomorrow (Monday) at 8pm (broadcast live on Sport5), for a road game against Bnei Herzeliya (11-15). Both teams are neck-and-neck in the standings, with the Greens one spot up in 8th place and Herzeliya in 9th.
The Greens recovered last week with a win over Gilboa/Galil after suffering a crushing loss to Nes Ziona a week prior. The Reds came to Romema last Monday, struggling to stay in the super league, but the Greens went on a run in the second quarter and didn’t look back, sealing a 92-72 victory.
“The importance of the game against Herzeliya is clear,” said Maccabi Haifa coach Rami Hadar. “We must come to the game determined and focused in order to pass that challenge.”
Six players scored in double-figures in that game for Haifa, led by Will Graves, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds double-double. Ike Ofoegbu was 1 rebound shy of triple-double, with 16 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Who made the different was the Greens Israeli players, as Alex Chubrevich set a new career-high in points scored (16) and VAL (24), while snaring 8 rebounds. Moran Roth was also great with 13 points and 9 assists and Captain Dagan Yivzori added 13 points.
“Bne Herzeliya is a talented team and we’ve had some tough games with them, but that’s in the past,” said Chubrevich. “We are going to fight for every win and at this point in the season. We’ll have to leave everything on the court in order to finish strong and achieve our goal of clinching a playoff spot”.
The next two games for Haifa (Herzeliya and Eilat) are crucial in terms of playoff implications. The Greens stand in 8th place with the same points as Eilat (7th place) and one point more than 9th place (Herzeliya).
Mickey Gorka’s team has suffered two straight losses (Gilboa/Galil and Eilat) after winning five out of their last six games. In the last two games, their leading scorer was power forward, Jasper Johnson, who had 22 points against the Reds and 18 points against Eilat. The Israeli guard, Aviram Zelekovits added 11 points at Gan-Ner and 16 points at Eilat, and continued his good season for the Blue and White.
Israeli point-guard, Yuval Naimi, scored less than his season average (11.5 PPG) in both games and also the great point-guard Josh Selby struggled offensively, scoring 8 points against Gilboa/Galil and 9 points at Eilat. Herzeliya’s record at their gym is 8 losses and 4 wins. In the victories they are scoring 89.2 points per game and in losses 78.1 points per game.