Maccabi Hunter Haifa (15-10) will travel tomorrow (Sunday) to face Maccabi Tel Aviv (17-8) at 9:05 p.m., broadcast live on Channel 1. Thus far, Haifa and Tel Aviv have met twice in the league, with each team winning in blowout fashion at their respective home arenas (40 at Yad Eliyahu and 35 at RK Arena). The Greens Captain, Chanan Colman, who didn’t play against Jerusalem because of a twisted ankle, will be available for Rami Hadar on Sunday. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Devin Smith will return to action against Haifa after a month and a half absence.
The Greens earned a historic 91-56 win over the Yellows the last time they played — the biggest loss in their franchise history. Two players shined above the rest, John DiBartolomeo dropped 22 points and Gregory Vargas posted an impressive stats line of 21 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Will Graves notched 17 points and Reggie Buckner with 13 points and 8 rebounds, also showed their offensive skills.
“We know we will have to bring our intensity and aggressiveness to the game, in order to try and finish the night with a win,” head coach Rami Hadar said.
The Greens are 2-1 to begin the 3rd round, falling in an overtime thriller, 95-89, to the defending champs Hapoel Jerusalem in their last game. Maccabi Hunter Haifa’s players came back from a 15-point deficit to force overtime. Oz Blayzer scored a season-high 19 points, and Gregory Vargas had another outstanding game with 18 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Alex Chubrevich pulled down a career-high of 17 rebounds (8 offensive), and added 11 points.
The Greens Captain Chanan Colman, who was out with an ankle injury, has been cleared for the game against Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow. The Captain is 6 points shy of reaching the 1000 career points mark in Israel, and is third in the league in 3-point percentage (47.5%).
“The game will be a war. They for sure are sitting with a feeling of revenge and we need every game to make sure we stay at top for the end of round 3,” Colman said.
The Yellows also started the the 3rd round with 2 wins and a loss to Hapoel Jerusalem (73-66). Tel Aviv signed center Richard Hendrix, who rejoined the team for another stint. He has played 2 games thus far and registered 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 18.5 minutes. In their last league game, Coach Tabak’s team beat Ashdod 91-72, thanks to a stellar performance by former Haifa point guard Gal Mekel, who scored a season-high 26 points and 5 assists.