Maccabi Hunter Haifa (0-1) will host Hapoel Tel Aviv (1-0) tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Romema Arena.
Last Sunday at Herzeliya, the Greens started the first half well, leading 42-36. However, Haifa was outscored 23-12 in the final frame, and eventually were downed 87-79 at Herzliya.
The Greens believe with the extra practices and playing in front of their fans at Romema will make for a better outcome against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
“It’s a very important game for us. We are happy to be back in Romema in front of our fans,” head coach Offer Rahimi said. “We have made progress in our practices. We’re hopeful to showcase our improvement tomorrow against Hapoel Tel Aviv.”
Four Green players scored in double figures against Herzliya. Tony Mitchell, who suffered from early foul problems, left his mark with 16 points in 16 minutes. Amit Simhon scored 10 in the first half on his way to finish with 14 points and Orlando Mendez-Valdez was efficient (scored 5-for-7 from the line), finishing with 13 points. Willy Workman came off the bench and contributed 11 points (4-for-4 from 2-PT and 3-for-4 from the line).
“We are ready for the game tomorrow. It’s our first home game of the season,” Simhon said. “We will come give our best in front of our fans. There are no excuses, we are coming to win this game.”
Maccabi’s new center, Jarrid Famous, showed off his skills in the paint with 8 points and 11 rebounds (9 of them in the first half). One of the areas the Greens will need to improve on is their 3-point shooting percentage, burying only 4-for-21 (19%) from beyond the arc.
Hapoel Tel Aviv come to Romema after a thrilling win over the defending champs Rishon Lezion. Alando Tucker, who played last season with Kiryat Gat, was unstoppable with 30 points (10-for-11 from 2-PT) in 36 minutes on court. The Reds were without their talented center Richard Howel (expected to play tomorrow), got their points and rebounds from Darrell Williams, who registered 14 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes. The best Israeli of Coach Sharon Avrahami was the young prospect Tomer Ginat, who came from Kiryat Ata (Second Division) and tallied 11 points and 6 rebounds in his first Winner League game.