Maccabi Hunter Haifa (7-19) will fly south as they face Hapoel Eilat (13-13) on Sunday in the 27th Round of the Israeli Winner League. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:55 p.m.
Maccabi is searching for their first win of the third round after suffering a 71-68 defeat to Hapoel Jerusalem last Wednesday at Romema Arena. The Greens registered the following imports for the game against Hapoel Eilat on Sunday: Angel Rodriguez, Trevor Gaskins, Zach Graham, Brandon Bowman and Reggie Buckner. Maccabi remains two points behind Ironi Nahariya in the standings with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Maccabi Hunter Haifa had their chances against Hapoel Jerusalem, but ultimately couldn’t snap their losing streak which is now at five games. The Greens showed commitment on defense, but made critical turnovers in the final minute, which cost them the game. Reggie Buckner recorded one of his best games in Israel with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 dunks.
New Coach, New Player
Maccabi Hunter Haifa announced on Friday the naming of Barak Peleg as head coach. Peleg, 45, has served as head coach of Maccabi Ra’anana of Israel’s Second Division for the past two seasons (2016-18), guiding the team to an 18-8 record this season. He was named 2016-17 Eurobasket.com National League Coach of the Year after leading Macabbi Ra’anana to an 18-8 record and a first-place finish.
“Barak personifies the fighting spirit as a coach and a leader that our team needs,” said Jeff Rosen, Owner, Maccabi Hunter Haifa. “Our backs are against the wall, and Barak will instill tenacity, motivation, and fight in these last seven games.”
“I am willing to accept this challenge and unite the players and the professional team in favor of the team’s goal,” coach Peleg said prior to the game. “The players must be very focused and determined to be one unit tomorrow in the game.”
The signing of 6-foot-10 Israeli forward Roman Sorkin was announced earlier today. Sorkin completed four seasons at the prestigious collegiate basketball program of the University of Oregon.
“I am very excited to return to Israel and join the Maccabi Hunter Haifa club,” Sorkin said after arriving in Israel. “I am waiting to play and will give everything for the team. Yalla Maccabi!”
Hapoel Eilat Report
Eilat suffered a loss on the road last Monday after blowing a double digit lead in the second quarter as Herzliya surged back to earn a 78-73 win. Eilat’s Eric Griffin scored a team-high 16 points in the defeat.
Former Haifa forward Amit Simhon is having an outstanding season for Eilat as he ranks second in scoring (14.0) among Israeli players while logging a league-leading 34.3 minutes per game.
The Greens’ last road victory of the season came against Hapoel Eilat, 86-81, on December 4, 2017 in Round 8. Angel Rodriguez scored a game-high 28 points in Maccabi’s win over Eilat. Haifa has won their last two regular season contests against Hapoel Eilat at Begin Arena.