Maccabi Haifa (4-3) hosts Ironi Nes Ziona (2-6) on Monday at 7:40pm at RK Arena in the 9th round of the Israeli Super League. On Friday, the Greens will host Hapoel Jerusalem at 2:00 pm at RKA arena
In the Greens’ last game, the team suffered a blowout loss by Maccabi Tel Aviv on the road. The only bright spots from the game came from Alex Chubrevich who posted 14 points and pulled down 7 rebounds and Oz Blayzer with 10 points (9 rebounds) scored in double-figures for the Greens. Blayzer continued his great season as he has registered double-figures in points and VAL in each of the seven games this season.
Rene Rougeau had another relatively sub-par game with 6 points and 4 assists against Tel Aviv as he has struggled on the road this season, averaging only 6.0 points per game on 29% from the field. It’s a completely different story at home, however, as Rougeau is posting averages of 14.0 points on 50% shooting from the field.
“After a tough loss, my teammates and I are beyond ready to get back to playing hard like Maccabi Haifa is known for,” Rougeau said. “We have a very tough game against Nes Ziona, and I hope to see all of our fans out rooting us on to victory.”
Rougeau is not the only one who loves to play at home. As a team, the Greens’ defense has held opponents to a league-best 63 points per game, compared to on the road, where Haifa has allowed 82.5 points per game. Also Monday’s game bodes well for Haifa, as neither the Greens or Nes Ziona have never won a game against one another on the road in the regular season or the playoffs.
Nes Ziona has been a disappointment this season with a 2-6 record, and the team recently made a coaching change, hiring Ofer Berkovich to replace Nadav Zilberstein. Nes Ziona also signed Ivan Aska after releasing Roscoe Smith. Aska, who had an impressive season last year for Maccabi Ashdod, is averaging 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds after 5 games with Nes Ziona.
The best player in the team thus far is power forward Diamon Simpson, who is averaging a double-double of 17.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The leading Israeli, Yuval Naimi is having a great season, tallying 16.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per game. Nes Ziona’s starting five also features small forward Fuquan Edwin (13.9 points per game) and Israeli Ezequiel Skverer (4.8 points per game).