Posted by: hapoeluta | 16/01/2010

Liga Atzit (North) – Round No. 11

Hapoel has travelled to Quiryat Motzkin for the closing game of round one.

300 fans have gathered for the intriguing match between the #1 and #2 ranked teams, and witnessed a game that did not reach a high level of basketball quality, even though it provided a lot of  interest and tension.

in the end Hapoel has celebrated again, and the opponent suffered its 4th loss of the season, as Hapoel continues to cruise towards the Liga Le’umit, without losing a game so far.

Trivia fact – this has been Hapoels lowest scoring game this season.


the game has opened with both teams being very close, and maintained that way throughout its whole course. 30 Hapoel fans in the stands hoped that the match would develop like the majority of the matches this season, and that Hapoel would break away to a promising lead, but the Motzkin team made it clear that the reds are in for a handful today. Shaked Shoham was amazing with a great performance under both baskets and Yariv Rokny just could not handle him. at the same time Yonatan Segal poured 3 pointers, and the other Motzkin players did not trail behind and impressed with hard long range shots.

The Motzkin coach Shay Minster got crazy on the sidelines and psyched his team, that appeared prepared and ready for Hapoel’s gameplan. Motzkin made switches on anything on defense and made Hapoel’s penetrations to become really difficult. with that, Hapoel’s main weapon – the fast break, was neutralized by a quick return to the defensive end by Motzkin, while coach Minster screaming and motivating his players.

Hapoel however, did not seem ready for Motzkin’s agressive game, and in periods in the 1st half, it looked like the players only wished for for the end of the game to come, and with it, 3 weeks of vaccation. the defense was lazy and gave the Motzkin players a lot of open shots from long range in the beggining of the game.

after 5 minutes the scoreboard showed 15-11 for the home team, Iftach Buchman entered the game, and brought a mini turnaround in Hapoel’s defense, which gave Hapoel the lead back. finally, thanks to good playing by Haimovitch Hapoel finished the quarter with an 18-17 lead.

The 2nd quarter was pretty much similar, with Naor being closed well by the Motzkin players, turning over the ball a lot, and missing a lot of three pointers, because of a wrist injury, among reasons. Elad Inbar came up from the bench for Rokny and used Shoam’s rest to help on both ends of the court. slowly Hapoel has got its game together, and finished the 1st half leading 36-31. on the last play of the 1st half, the fans witnessed a most bizzarre event, as Motzkin inbounded the ball under Usishkin’s basket and scored an easy 2, turns out the basket was not so easy by mistake, as Motzkin had 6 players on the court… inspite of Hapoel’s bench protests, the officials insisted they cannot call the basket off, but only punish Motzkin with a technical foul,  and gave Hapoel 2 free throws, which Haimovitch succesfuly converted.

Hapoel started the 2nd half quite well, increasing the lead to 9, with good defensive performance, plus a monster dunk by Matan Naor on the fast break, which left the 300 people in the stands shocked. just at this point Hapoel has stopped, and Motzkin began cutting the lead, with the local crowd’s help, getting the score to be 44-40 midway through the 3rd quarter, letting the reds know its going to be a tight game till the end. the margin left the same until the end of the 3rd quarter, 51-47 Hapoel.

the fourth quarter was more aggressive and temperamental. Rokny hit players on defense like theres no tomorrow, and the Motzkin players soon followed. every time Hapoel has opened a lead, Motzkin came back reducing it to 2. and even missed a chance to take the lead for the 1st time in a long time, missing a wide open three pointer. with important baskets from all ranges by young Omer Zamir Hapoel fought and kept the lead. Matan Naor scored the game’s big shot, a three pointer, making it a 7 point game, 3 minutes to the end. after that Motzkin finally gave up, Hapoel ran to 66-55, and a Motzkin 3 sealed the game, the final score being 66-58 Hapoel.

Hapoel are going on a vaccation with a perfect record, and the Liga Leumit looking almost clear in the horizon.


Starting line up: Yaron Lahat, Gal Eitan, Tohar Haimovitch, Matan Naor, Yariv Rokny.

Hapoel:  Matan Naor 18,  Tohar Haimovitch 16, Omer Zamir 13, Yariv Rokny 8, Yarden Schwartzman 4, Gal Eitan 4, Elad Inbar 2, Gal Eitan 1.

Played without scoring – Iftach Buchman

Officials – Enrico drzerzinsky, Dor Komemy


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