Greens return home after 3 weeks to host Holon tonight
After two consecutive road games (a win over Kiryat Gat and a loss at Herzeliya), Maccabi Haifa returns home to host Hapoel Holon tonight at 8:05pm at RK Arena.
Both teams suffered losses last week, and the Greens are prepared for another thriller against Holon as all three league games last season ended with dramatic finishes.
Last season, the teams played one another four times (one cup game and three in the league) as the series was split 2-2. The three league games were very dramatic. In the first game at Holon, the home team won 89-81 in overtime; in the second game at Romema, a buzzer-beater layup by Shlomi Harush gave Holon a 85-83 victory and in the third game at Romema the Greens won 82-8 in the last game of the regular season.
“We must come ready to the game against Holon and play our basketball with a high accuracy level, in order to win the game,” head coachRami Hadar said.
Last week at Herzeliya, the Greens built a promising 41-29 lead at the half, but Haifa’s offensive collapse in the third quater doomed the team as they lost the contest 74-64. Oz Blayzer, a former Herzeliya player, registered his second consecutive double-double (14 points and 14 rebounds). Gregory Vargas also had another excellent game with 14 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds.
Forward Will Graves, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since the first preseason game against Hapoel Tel Aviv, will be available to play for the first time this season.
“Our team had been playing very intensely which helps us prevail in tough situations,” said Graves. “The game against Holon is a big test for us and an opportunity to win and improve our record. I am excited to be joining the team back on the court and I will do my best from beginning to the end.”
Elad Hasin’s Holon team comes to the game after two losses, one at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv (81-73) and the other at Nes Ziona (92-76). The most dominant player for the purples’ roster is Will Clyburn, who averages 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Former Maccabi Haifa player, Jeremis Smith is having a good start at Holon with 13.4 points per game, and Israelis Eyal Shulman (9.2 points per game) and Dudu Shamriz (7.8 points per game), are also performing well.