Maccabi Hunter Haifa (2-3) will travel on Monday to Holon’s Toto Arena for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off to face local Hapoel Holon (4-1), which pummeled Hapoel Jerusalem last week in Holon.
Like Holon, the Greens are also coming into tonight’s contest after an impressive home victory (their first home win of the season), 96-75, over Nahariya. Without the injured John DiBartolomeo and Jarrid Famous (both will not be available for the Holon game), the Greens took control of the game from the tip against Nahariya last seek. Haifa’s Israelis dominated, finishing the night with a combined 45 points. Captain Oz Blayzer scored a game-high 19 points and was 1 rebound shy of double-double, pulling down 9 caroms.
Amit Simhon scored 16 points against Nahariya to make his way to the top of the Israeli scoring leaderboard, averaging 14.2 points per game on the season. Tony Mitchell put on a showtime performance, dropping 16 points on 6/8 from the field — including 3 dunks — one of which was a windmill dunk that was awarded the number one highlight of the week. Mitchell, who earned the number one highlight for the second straight week, is leading the league in dunks per game (2.4) and 2-point field goal percentage (77.4%).
“Holon are a well-coached team that play in a tough home arena,” Maccabi Hunter Haifa’s head coach, Offer Rahimi said. “I hope that we will be able to come concentrated and execute on both sides of the court.”
Maccabi recorded a season-high 14 steals against Nahariya, and now top the league with 11.2 steals per game. Another first of the season occurred against Nahariya — Alex Perez registered the Greens’ first double-double on 14 points and 11 assists.
“Monday is a good test for us,” Perez said. “I believe we are getting better every day, we just have to come focused and ready to go to war.”
As mentioned, Holon routed Hapoel Jerusalem, 99-76, last Sunday. Dan Shamir’s players led from the get-go, facilitated by a great shooting night from beyond the arc (65% on 13/20). Holon’s James Bell recorded his best game thus far with 28 points (6/7 from downtown). Another very dominant player on the Purples’ roster was Khalif Wyatt, who scored 25 points and dished out 6 assists (7 turnovers). Shlomi Harush was Holon’s leading Israeli and the only one to finish with double-digits (10 points).
The Greens will face their former center Alex Chubrevich, who donned a Green uniform for the last four years. Chubrevich is averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13.0 minutes on Holon.