After an impressive 12 home winning streak was snapped on Friday by Hapoel Jerusalem after a dramatic, 86-84 loss in overtime, Maccabi Haifa will travel to Rishon Lezion to take on Maccabi Rishon at 7pm.
After Rene Rougeau banked in huge buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime, the Greens couldn’t finish off Jerusalem in the overtime. Five Greens finished in double figures with Will Graves leading the way with 16 points. Gregory Vargas tallied 15 points and dished out 5 dimes, while Rougeau, Buckner and Colman contributed 13 points each.
“Coming off a tough loss to playing against another tough team we have to bring extra focus to the game,” Will Graves said. “Defense, passion, and offensive execution is what will win the game for us and I expect us to bring that into Rishon on Tuesday. We have the tools to be a good team and now is a good time to show it”.
Oz Blayzer, who had registered double figures in points and VAL in all previous 8 games was held scoreless against Jerusalem as he fouled out after 19 minutes. Green captain Chanan Colman, John Dibatolomeo and Gregory Vargas, also fouled out in the dramatic game.
After 9 games, the Greens hold a 5-4 record and have their sights set on a finishing the first round with an above .500 record. After the game against Rishon, they will face Maccabi Ashdod at home on Monday at 7pm. The first game of the second round will be held at Saturday, December 19th at 6:10pm at Nahariya.
Sharon Drucker’s Rishon Lezion have a 6-2 record and have an excellent start to the season. Last week, Rishon released Romero Osby, who moved to Kiryat Gat, after averaging 3.3 points in 10.3 minutes. The Orange and White’s key player is Darryl Monroe, who is averaging 18.1 points (fourth in the league), 9.3 rebounds (fourth in the league), 4.5 assists, 2.8 steals (first in the league) and 27.5 VAL (first in the league).
Mark Lyons, who was the leading scorer in the league last season, playing for Nahariya, has kept up his great performance in Rishon’s uniform, posting averages of 16.0 points and 5.5 assists per game. Rishon’s starting five also includes Israelis Shawn Dawson (10.4 points per game) and Nitzan Hanochi (5.1 points per game) and the athletic poer forward, Chris Wright (12.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game).