In front of the first expected sold-out crowd this season at RK Arena, Maccabi Haifa (8-6) will face Maccabi Tel Aviv (11-4) tomorrow (Saturday) at 8:10 pm in the State Cup quarterfinals. Both teams are coming off losses to Red teams; the Greens fell to Hapoel Tel Aviv at Drive-In Arena, and the Yellows were downed by Hapoel Jerusalem, which Maccabi Haifa beat to advance to the Cup quarterfinals.
Only a few tickets are still available for the game here.
“Against a team like Maccabi Tel Aviv we have to play our most accurate and intense game, in order to win and make it to the semifinals,” coach Rami Hadar said.
On Tuesday, Maccabi Haifa lost for the sixth time this season as the team couldn’t contain Hapoel Tel Aviv’s amazing three-point shooting night, falling 85-74. Will Graves was the Greens’ leading scorer, after registering his third straight league game in double figures (14 points). In his last three league games, the swingman has averaged 20.6 points and 8.0 rebounds.
“Saturday’s game will be tough task for us and we need to bring our A game, especially after the last game against Maccabi Tel Aviv,” Graves said. “This is definitely a game we are very excited for and we are preparing with 100% effort. We need all the Greens to come out and support to give us the extra energy.”
The last time the Greens faced the Yellows in the State Cup was on February. 16th, 2015, in the semifinals at PAIS Arena, in a game which went down to the wire. In the last minute it looked like the game was in Maccabi Haifa’s hands, but Rene Rougeau missed two foul shots, and former Haifa star Brian Randle sent the game to overtime, with Maccabi Tel Aviv pulling out a 90-87 win in the extra period. Will Graves was great in this game as well, notching 19 points, and Rene Rougeau registered a double-double on 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Maccabi Tel Aviv had a busy week, after playing against the champs to Jerusalem and losing to them for the second time this season (94-85), despite an offensive show by Devin Smith with 29 points (7-of-9 from beyond the arc). On Wednesday, the Yellows hosted their first Eurocup game in franchise history, and beat Ljubljana 82-73. Devin Smith posted another great game with 19 points, and Taylor Rochestie notched a team-high 20 points for Tel Aviv.