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Israeli Cup, Semifinals: February 4, 2008
Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv and Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem advanced to the Israel Cup Final on Monday with hard fought victories in the semis at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Maccabi wasted more energy than expected to beat the underdogs of Gilboa/Afula who put up a big fight 92-83 behind a big game and a big block in the closing seconds by Yotam Halperin, who finished with 22 points. Lamont Jones paced Gilboa/Afula with 22 in defeat. In the second game, Hapoel needed a big third quarter to turn the game upside down and then showed big nerves in the clutch to beat an ambitious rival in Hapoel Holon 102-100. Ramel Curry led Jerusalem with 21 points and Drod Hagag finished with 19 points and 9 assists, eclipsing P.J. Tucker’s 28-point and 12-rebound effort.
Yotam Halperin’s block of a Hanan Coleman shot in the last 30 seconds of the game capped a big performance to secure the win. Halperin was big from the start and led Maccabi to an early 13-5 lead but saw Lamont Jones score 9 first quarter points to lead Gilboa/Afula to a 22-22 tie after ten minutes. Will Bynum’s back-to-back three pointers gave Maccabi a 42-37 lead at halftime. It remained close throughout the third period and Jones tied the score early in the fourth. Then Halperin stepped up, Alex Garcia came off the bench to give some hustle and Maccabi went 78-70 with five minutes to go. Jones and Amit Ben-David got Gilboa/Afula within 86-81 and then Coleman stole the ball and was about to cut the margin to 3, but out of nowhere came Halperin's block, which allowed Derrick Sharp secure the win with 4 foul shots in the closing seconds. The top scorer for Maccabi was Halperin with 22 points, Terence Morris added 14, while Lior Eliyahu and Marcus Fizer scored 10 each. Jones led the losing side with 22 points, Jermaine Hall added 16 and Tunji Awojobi settled for 14.
After chasing Holon the entire first half, Jerusalem took over the game in the third quarter, and held on to the lead in the closing minutes against an aggressive Holon blitz to collect a 102-100 win. Moran Roth scored 8 early points as Holon led 19-25 after 10 minutes. Jaime Arnold, in his first game with Hapoel since his injury, hit twice from long range to keep Jerusalem in the picture. Roth continued to shine and P.J. Tucker heated up too, but Sharon Shason hit 4 threes in the second quarter as the scores sttod at 52-53 at the halftime break. Jerusalem stunned with a 20-3 run led by Ramel Curry and Guy Pniny forcing Holon to take two timeouts in two minutes, and find itself down 76-64 right on the edge of the last quarter. Jerusalem already built a 14-point lead, but Tucker and Tre Simmons keyed a 2-12 run to keep Holon’s hopes alive. Curry and Dror Hagag didn't blink and led Jerusalem to a 92-83 lead with less than three minutes remaining. Simmons answered twice to make it just 93-97 with 50 seconds on the clock. Both sides exchanged free throws until Malik Dixon missed on purpose with 10 seconds on the clock and down by 2. Jerusalem was first on the rebound and Pniny secured the win at the other end. Curry led Jerusalem with 21 points, Hagag finished with 19 points and 9 assists, Shason and Arnold scored 16 each while Erez Markovic had 13 and Pniny 12. Tucker led Holon with 28 points and 12 rebounds, Simmons added 25 points, Roth finished with 17 and Eric Campbell posted 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Yarone Arbel, Tel Aviv
Euroleague / ULEB Cup teams
Hapoel Galil Elyon
Israeli League Archive
SEB BALTIC LEAGUE