Bnei Herzliya gave Maccabi Tel Aviv plenty to mull over ahead of its trip to CSKA Moscow, claiming a 99-92 win over the yellowand- blue in BSL action at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Tuesday night.
Maccabi entered the game on the back of four straight wins over all competitions, including a State Cup triumph, its longest streak since last November.
Tel Aviv was hoping to continue and gather momentum ahead of Thursday’s visit to reigning European champion CSKA. But instead, it will travel to Russia on Wednesday following its worst defensive showing in the BSL this season, allowing a season-high 99 points.
Herzliya scored 25-of-54 (57 percent) two-point shots, 10-of- 21 three-point attempts (48%) and 19-of-21 free-throws (90%).
Herzliya had four players who scored 21 or 22 points. Jeff Adrien finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Karam Mashour had 22 points and eight boards.
Halil Kanacevic added 21 points and 10 rebounds, with Taurean Green netting 21 points for Herzliya, which improved to a 12-7 record and moved up to third place in the standings. Devin Smith scored 22 points for Maccabi, which fell to 14-5.
Maccabi coach Ainars Bagatskis was unsurprisingly unhappy with his team’s display, especially in the first half.
“I’m ashamed of the aggressiveness we showed in the first 15-17 minutes,” said the Latvian.
Herzliya led from start to finish, opening a 13-point gap (30-17) after the first quarter. Maccabi closed within four points in the second period, but then allowed the visitors to reestablish a cushion by the break (49-36). Herzliya’s lead reached 22 points in the third quarter and Maccabi could do no more than limit the damage until the final buzzer.
BSL action continues on Wednesday when Hapoel Jerusalem, which lost to Maccabi Haifa on Sunday following the State Cup final defeat to Tel Aviv, visits in-form Hapoel Eilat, which has won five BSL games in a row.
Also Wednesday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Ironi Nahariya will play in European competition.
Rishon will try to overturn a 17-point defeat from the first leg in Israel when it visits Ludwigsburg in Germany in its playoff qualifier for a place in the FIBA Champions League round of 16.
Nahariya takes a 21-point lead to its Europe Cup round of 16 second leg at Gaziantep in Turkey.
After initially telling the club it refuses to approve the team’s trip to Gaziantep, the Shin Bet (The Israel Security Agency) ultimately gave the go-ahead, with Nahariya to arrive on a chartered jet shortly before the game and to return to Israel as soon as the contest is over.
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