The Greens let a 12-point fourth quarter lead slip away at Toto Arena as they fell 85-77 to Hapoel Holon. Haifa was without Reggie Buckner (eye) and Will Graves (back spasms). Maccabi Haifa’s Alex Chubrevich scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds, and Oz Gregory added 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in defeat. Oz Blayzer (16 points and 6 rebounds) and John DiBartolomeo (11 points and 5 rebounds) had solid performances, but Rougeau and Colman were held to 7 points each in the loss. Holon was paced by Will Clyburn who scored a game-high 21 points on 6-of-14 from the field.
Chubrevich scored 8 quick points after five minutes into the game as the Greens jumped out to an early lead. Holon’s Moser and Clyburn woke up to pull Holon closer, but Haifa finished the first quarter with 28-25 lead. The second quarter’s momentum was similar to the first as the Greens tried to run with Vargas and DiBartolomeo, but the Purples kept themselves in the game. Clyburn scored two, but Gilad Karni scored from downtime right before the break as Haifa led 52-43 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Greens attempted to push the tempo, but Isaac Rosefelt warmed up to keep Holon within striking distance. Chubrevich scored a mid-range jump shot, setting a career-high ( inished with 20 points) as Maccabi led 65-61 at the end of the quarter. DiBartolomeo buried two shots from downtown, but Shulman and Rosefelt gave Holon life scoring 5 points. Holon put on a show with a 15-0 run which was broken up by Chubrevich. Guni Israeli scored a huge shot from beyond the arc to deflate the Greens as they couldn’t recover, falling 85-77 to Holon.
Rami Hadar: “We were short-handed today and it affected us at the end of the game. Regarding questions about calls and the referees you should ask them. I think we are doing the best we can and I am satisfied from the players’ effort.”
Oz Blayzer: “Instead of controlling the game at the end, we got caught into a mess. We didn’t play our game and the shots didn’t go in the rim as well. It’s very significant that Buckner, who is a force inside, and Graves, with his athletic skills and defense, were out. They are two players in the rotation and in this aggressive game it’s important to have them.”