Maccabi Hunter Haifa (1-1) will host Maccabi Rishon Lezion (1-1) on Friday at 14:30 at Romema in the third game of the season. The game will be broadcast on Sport5. Luke Martinez will be on the Greens’ roster for the first time.
Both teams are coming off home victories — the Greens recorded a dramatic overtime win over Ness Ziona and Rishon scored a victory over Ashdod.
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After a rough start to the season against Ashdod, Offer Rahimis’ players found a way to edge Ness Ziona, 89-85, in dramatic fashion in the team’s home opener. A deseparation buzzer-beater by Brandon Bowman with 1.2 seconds left in regulation sent the game into OT, giving Haifa the opportunity to seal the game in the extra period.
Bowman was named Winner League MVP of the Week for his 30 point performance — drawing 10 fouls. He had help from teammates, Angel Rodriguez, who knocked down several clutch shots in overtime (20 points and 7 assists) and Oz Blayzer who heated up late in the contest.
Two of Maccabi’s veterans have yet to find their groove this season. Dagan Yivzori, who rejoined the Greens this Summer, has only 2 points in two games — the same goes for forward Will Graves.
“Rishon is a good team and is well-coached. We have to improve a few defensive aspects to our game — especially rebounding, in order to get another home win,” Head Coach, Offer Rahimi said.
“We have an important game and we need the support of our fans,” said guard Frederic Bourdillon. “We will face a good team so we must come focused for the entire game. We need to take every home games in order to achieve our goals.”
Shmulik Brenner’s Maccabi Rishon Lezion team replaced all of their imports from last season. They signed Murphy Holloway and Jason Siggers from Gilboa/Galil, Drew Crawford, who played at Herzeliya two years ago and power forward Mark Tollefsen. The new acquisition, Tollefsen, is off to a hot start, leading the team with 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Rishon’s other imports are also playing well, averaging double-figures. Among the Israeli players, former Green, Avi Ben Chimol is playing well, posting averages of 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 33.0 minutes per night (highest on the team).