Maccabi Hunter Haifa (1-4) will travel on Monday to face Ironi Nahariya in the sixth round of the Winner League season. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 pm.
The contest at Nahariya is the first of a 3-game road trip. Maccabi will then face Hapoel Tel Aviv on Saturday and Eilat the week after.
The Greens will debut two new players against Nahariya — Guni Israeli who signed last week and Reggie Buckner who served a two-game suspension from last season.
Need a WIN
Offer Rahimi’s team has lost three games in a row, but are hopeful the new additions — along with the move to release the struggling Will Graves — will stop the snowball effect.
In the last game against Holon, Maccabi dug themselves into an early doubt-digit hole, but nearly climbed out of it with a strong fourth quarter (22-14). But, the Greens’ comeback attempt came up short as they suffered a 75-69 loss.
Maccabi’s top scorer was Angel Rodriguez with 15 points. Through five games, Rodriguez is averaging 14.8 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game. Luke Martinez also had a good game with 13 points. Through three games, Martinez is averaging 12.0 points in 22.7 minutes per game.
“Every road game is tough, especially against a talented and well-coached team like Nahariya,” head coach, Offer Rahimi said. “We need to bring a fighting spirit and be more fluid on offense.”
Israeli and Buckner ready to go
13-year Israeli League veteran Guni Israeli, who joined the club on Friday after starting the season with Ashdod, will have his first chance to wear the Green uniform on Monday.
Reggie Buckner returns to Maccabi after concluding his two-game suspension that was handed to him last season at Eilat. He will have his opportunity to suit up for the Greens again against Nahariya.
“It was hard to sit on the bench the last two games and see the team lose,” Buckner said. “I think we need to get a little more chemistry, keep playing hard and eventually this situation will turn around.”
Eric Alfasi’s team was defeated by Gilboa/Galil 92-73 at Gan-Ner last week, after three straight wins.
Three Nahariya players are averaging double-figures — Alex Young (16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds), Corey Webster (15.4 points and 5.0 assists) and Denzel Livingston (14.6 points). Former Maccabi guard, Yiftach Ziv is playing 15.8 minutes per game and averaging 5.2 points and 4.0 assists.
Nahariya announced the signing of Tyrone Nash, who played last season with the team, posting averages of 7.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 20.3 minutes.