Greens set to swing series in Haifa’s favor in Game 3

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Maccabi Bazan Haifa flew south to Eilat today to prepare for the third game of the quarterfinal series against Hapoel Eilat tomorrow at 9:00 pm.  The Greens evened the series at 1-1 after a 76-68 win at Romema last Wednesday.  During the first quarter, Greens’ swingman, Will Graves, injured his left knee and will be out for game 3 with a sprained left knee. Game four is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27th, at 7pm at Romema, but is subject to change depending on the results of other games.

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“We will have to recruit all of our energy and concentration, in order to pass the challenge at Eilat tomorrow,” said Greens head coach Rami Hadar.

Two Haifa players recorded double-doubles in the game on Wednesday. Ike Ofoegbu tallied 23 points and 12 rebounds, while drawing 8 fouls called, and Rene Rougeau filled up the stat line with 14 points and 10 rebounds as well as 4 steals.

“We’re looking forward to the biggest game of our season in game three on Monday in Eilat,” said Rougeau. “I believe my team is ready to step up to the challenge for all of our green fans.”

Moran Roth posted a season-high with 20 points in the win over Eilat.  Roth missed the last three games of the regular season, after suffering a shoulder injury. In the first game of the series, at Eilat, he posted only 2 points, but dished out 8 assists. “The third game of the series, in my opinion, is the one that will decide the result of the series,” said Roth. “Both teams are equally matched, and we give a lot of respect to Eilat. They proved themselves, especially at home, where they are even more dangerous.  We have to stop their shots from three and their offensive rebound, in order to win this game.”

Haifa’s defense has limited Arik Shivek’s team to 38% from the two, which is well below their season average (50.3%).  In the last game, Haifa held Eilat to 31.8% from the two (14-of-44). Afik Nissim has been the best scoring weapon for Eilat in the series, tallying 16.5 points per game (83.3% from two, 60.0% from 3). The most efficient player is Adrian Uter, who has averaged 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and has drawn 8.5 fouls in the two games. The Greens minimized Elishay Kadir in the second game, holding him to 2 points (0-of-9 from the field and 3 turnovers).  The Greens also shut down Amit Simhon in the second game, who scored 17 points in game one (4-of-7 from over the arc), but contributed only 1 point in 20 minutes in game two.