Maccabi Haifa (11-6) will travel to face Hapoel Holon (4-13) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. for the first time at the new Toto Arena. The Greens have registered three league wins in a row, after an 82-72 victory over the defending champs from Jerusalem.
Buckner suffered an eye injury in practice and will not play against Holon.
Two Green players are having a great run recently, Chanan Colman and Reggie Buckner. Colman tallied, for the second game in a row, a new season-high 19 points against Jerusalem, and is only 70 points shy from reaching 1000 career points in the league. Reggie Buckner achieved his second double-double this season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as he is averaging 16.3 points and 7.6 rebounds over his last 3 games.
“Holon, which changed during the season, are a dangerous team especially at their home. We have to play with intensity and at our pace, if we want to come back with a win,” head coach Rami Hadar said before the game.
Gregory Vargas showed his versatility against Jerusalem, posting 8 rebounds and 7 assists to add to his 11 points. In his last four league games, Vargas is averaging 7.4 assists, while his season average is 6.3 assists per game (second in the league). Assists are an important stats for the Greens, as they register 22.2 assists in their wins and only 13.7 assists in their losses.
“Playing against Holon, it’s never easy, and especially after they made some changes and got stronger,” Greens’ center Alex Chubrevich said. “We will come to play our game and be aggressive right from the start.”
In the last game between the teams, the Greens held the Purples to a very low score with a 66-62 Maccabi victory. Rene Rougeau scored a team-high 14 points, and Alex Chubrevich played 29 minutes and scored 11 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and added 2 steals and 2 blocks. On Holon’s side, Will Clyburn notched 24 points and 8 rebounds (also had 7 turnovers) in 35 minutes at RK Arena.
Holon has undergone many changes since that game, as head coach, Elad Hasin was replaced by Dan Shamir, and the team also released several players, including Jeremis Smith and Alon Sapir. Recently, Holon signed four players; guard Ramel Bradley, who already has played 6 games and is averaging 14.0 points per game, Shlomi Harush returned to Holon after he left Eilat, Adam Ariel who came back from Germany and the new center, Ivan Radenovic played one game and scored 2 points in 16 minutes. In their last game, Holon lost 83-73 to Rishon.