Photo: Gal Fridman

PREVIEW: The Greens head to Gan Ner to face Hapoel Tel Aviv

שתפו את החברים

Maccabi Hunter Haifa (1-5) will travel to Gan Ner on Sunday to face Hapoel Tel Aviv (3-3) for a scheduled 9:00 p.m. tip-off.

The contest will he held at Gan Ner as opposed to Tel Aviv due to a punishment handed down by the Israeli Super League against Hapoel Tel Aviv. Sunday’s road contest against Hapoel will be the Greens’ second of a three-game road trip.

Fast start at Nahariya not enough

Maccabi started the game against Nahariya very well. Reggie Buckner was dominant under the basket, and Luke Martinez netted two 3-pointers in the first quarter. But, Nahariya turned the tide in the second quarter to trim Maccabi’s lead down to the just three. Nahariya took over the game in the third, on their way to the win.

Buckner tallied 13 points and 6 rebounds in his season debut for the Greens. He was able to draw 8 fouls, which sent him to the line 9 times, but he only converted on three attempts.  Martinez finished with a team-high 15 points (3-of-9 from downtown).

Looking to get on track 

The Greens are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and find themselves in last place.

Maccabi understands the importance of ending the skid on Sunday against Hapoel Tel Aviv. The last time the two teams met in the league was the final game of the 2016-17 season and was also very significant. Maccabi needed to win in order to secure the final playoff spot, and they succeeded in their mission with a 95-79 victory at Romema.

During this pre-season, the teams played one another twice, with each team winning at their respective home arena. The victory at Romema was a thriller, as Brandon Bowman recorded a last-second steal to win the game at the foul line.

“The game against Hapoel Tel Aviv is really important for us. We want to get on the winning track, but we know it will not be easy, since they are an excellent team,” Captain Oz Blayzer said before Sunday’s game against Hapoel. “We have to give it our all for the entire game, playing aggressive basketball and to finish the job.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv Report 

Danny Franco’s Hapoel Tel Aviv team will head to Gan Ner short-handed with only three import players, after announcing the release of Ahmad Nivins, who sign with the team last week. The Reds will also be without their captain, Raviv Limonad, who broke his nose and will be out for the next two weeks.

Hapoel suffered a loss at home to Gilboa/Galil last week (88-86), chasing them all the game, but couldn’t get over the hump at the end.

Tywain McKee and Adrian Banks led Hapoel with 17 points apiece, and Rafi Menco added 15. Menco had a slow start to the season, averaging 5.3 points in the first three games, but in the last three games he is averaging 13 points per game.