Hapoel Samsung Tel Aviv inflicted a second defeat this season to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, 75-80 in the Usishkin Sports Hall. This win means that both teams will meet in the best of five playoff finals starting next Monday.
Hapoel has a 12-5 lead but at the end of the first quarter the score read 18-18. Two great three pointers by Yotam Halperin sent Maccabi into half time wuth a 43-37 lead.
Maccabi tokk a 52-44 lead in the third but a 14-2 run by the Reds, put them 58-54 up. At the end of the third period scores were even (61-61).
Hapoel players were scoreless for the first four minutes of the final period but Maccabi led only 65-61. Then Yaniv Green scored 9 consecutive points and Hapoel led 70-66 with 3:30 to go. Green fouled out but Vujcic missed both his free throws & then Baston fouled out. Prasikevicius made it 74-69. Parker cut the margin to 74-72 but a three pointer by Lior Lubin made sure of the home team victory.
Although playing without the injured Jasmin Hukic, Hapoel were superior in rebounds (38-30) & assists (15-11). Their shooting percentages were also higher mainly from the perimeter: 11-27 (41%) to Maccabi’s 6-18 (33%).
Yaniv Green led Hapoel with 19 pts & 9 rbds. Top player for Maccabi - Anthony Parker with 26 pts (12-12 FT), 7 rbds, 4 ast & 2 stls.