Maccabi Hunter Haifa will travel tomorrow (Sunday) to Herzeliya scheduled for a 1:00 pm tipoff in their first Winner League game of the 2016-17 season.
The Greens landed in Israel on Saturday after concluding their annual NBA trip, which saw Maccabi open up the brand new Golden 1 center against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Despite the difference in the score, Haifa can take away several bright spots from the exhibition. Haifa totaled 96 points against the Kings, which was the team’s second highest points scored against an NBA team. The Greens’ franchise record is 100 points scored in a 108-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on October 11, 2012. Another area in which Haifa impressed against the Kings was from long range — connecting on 15-for-36 from 3-point land.
Maccabi Hunter Haifa have had a busy preseason — with the addition of guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez who replaced Karvel Anderson (now in Germany), as well as center Jarrid Famous, who signed with the squad to replace Evan Ravenel (released). Famous arrived in Israel on Thursday and will be available to play in Saturday’s opener on the road.
“We are excited for our first official game,” head coach Offer Rahimi said. “I feel that the team came together during this trip. We were given the proper conditions in Sacramento in order to prepare and practice hard. We did everything we could to come as ready as possible against Herzeliya.”
The Greens’ roster returns Oz Blayzer (who was named captain), guard John DiBartolomeo, forward Will Graves and young prospect center, Daniel Koperberg. Along with the veterans, new players signed with the team, featuring Israelis Amit Simhon who tallied 17 points against the Kings and Willy Workman who played on Ashdod, scoring 9 points at Sacramento.
Four new imports will don the Greens’ uniform this season; point guard Alex Perez, who registered 14 points and 4 assists against Sacramento, power forward Tony Mitchell who had a great game in the preseason game against Gilboa/Galil with 14 points, shooting guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez who scored 17 points in the game at Galil, and new center, Famous who tallied 14 points and 8 rebounds against Sacramento.
“During this trip in Sacramento, we used the time wisely to prepare for a good test on Saturday against Herzeliya,” Alex Perez said. “I’m really excited to start the season on the right track.”
Bnei Herzeliya also signed 4 new imports, among them is the former NBA player, Jeff Adrien, centers Halil Kanacevic and Adom Jacko and point guard Taurean Green. The team returns Israelis Aviram Zelekovits, Danny Rubin, Karam Mashour and Tom Maayan as well as American guard, Stephen Dennis. Miki Gorka, former Maccabi Haifa coach, remains Herzeliya’s head coach.