Posted by: hapoeluta | 26/01/2010

Igud Cup 1/4 Finals

Towards the Game

A kind of “match of the year” between the two leaders of the two different districts of the Israeli 3rd basketball league, as part of the quarter finals of the Igud Cup, which was also a rematch of last years semi final match. Petach Tiqva (PT) was back for revenge after their unexplainable loss last year. Both teams played after a one month break and both teams were rusty. This caused the game to be close from start until the near end. During the final quarter it seamed that PT will succeed to surprise Usishkin, but in the end and despite its weak performance (that reminded all of the poor performance in her last game before the break) Hapoel pulled through and advanced to the next stage. In the Semi- Finals Hapoel will meet, in a best of two games, Hapoel Eilat, whom Hapoel beat last year in the quarter-finals of the 2009 Igud Cup

Trivia

  • Before the game started, Usishkin paid tribute to former players that played in the team in its first two years. Among them: Ofir Fox, Ze’ev Merk, Yoav Ber, Nir Galon, Ofer Na’im and Roei Goffer.
  • This is the second time in two years Hapoel is facing PT, despite the fact the two teams never played in the same league.
  • Both teams started the game unbeatable this year in both the league and cup games.

Play by Play

The game begun with a massive show of support by the red fans that pushed Usishkin to an early 8:2 lead with the help of Matan Naor and Tohar Himovitz. The PT players succeeded to come back and with a 3 point shot by Eyal Angel tied the score at 10:10. Until the end of the first quarter the game was equal, mainly due to PT missing easy lay-ups & free-throws and an endless series of missed three point attempts by the Hapoel players. The quarter ended at a score of 16:15 to the Reds.  

The second quarter was very similar to the first – Usishkin takes an early lead and PT bouncing back but failing to take the lead because of a terrible day from the free-throw line. The only affective offence player for Usishkin was Elad Einbar (man of the match). His three-pointer brought the score to 31:25. Until the end of the quarter there was a dual between Einbar and PT’s Nir Aloni and the half time scoreboard showed 37:30 to Usishkin.

At the beginning of the third quarter it seamed the game was all over as Hapoel with aggressive defense and a better choice of offensive throws had a 12 point lead. But from nowhere PT returned to the game with good offensive and defensive moves from Nir Aloni and Amir Darom and succeeded to tie the game. Coach Avrahami took a much needed timeout and the third quarter ended with just a 3 point red lead 54:51.  Every thing was ready of the final quarter showdown.

The home team started the quarter well 58:53. But then PT’s Eyal Angel with two 3 pointers and a free-throw lead a 10:0 PT run and at 6.5 minuets to the end of the game, PT was up by five 58:63.  Hapoel loked lost, losing many balls and  with an unexciting defense. Here came into play the Red Army Fans who begun pushing the team. An outstanding three pointer by point guard Yaron Lahat ended the red drought and the game was again tied 63:63 after a fantastic slam dunk by Naor, who decided to appear to the last quarter.

Here PT lost their concentration. One of the main contributions to this was a decision by the official Basketball Union supervisor Herman, who ordered the ref to send PT’s assistant coach to the stands after he saw him kicking Hapoel’s Gal Eitan. After 5 minuets of arguments the assistant coach was ejected to the stands were an argument begun between him and a Red supporter. This argument leads to a minor brawl between fans from both sides. The police quickly restored order and the game continued.

The PT players lost their concentration and the Red fan support caused the Hapoel player to “play” and begin playing as they know. Hapoel began playing very aggressive and useful defense. Naor blocked two important PT shots. This defensive aggression leads to a few quick fast-breaks and easy shots by Hapoel.

Two and a half minuets to the end of the game a dirty foul by a PT player on Naor leads Avi Cohen (PT) and Yariv Rockni (Hapoel) to a fist fight and both players were ejected from the game. From the incident with the assistant coach until the end of the game Hapoel over scored PT 20:5 and the game ended at the score of 83:68 and advanced to the Semi-Final match.  

Statistics:

Hapoel opening five: Lahat, Eitan, Himovitz, Naor and Rockni

Hapoel: Eland Einbar – 22, Gal Eitan – 19, Lahat & Naor 11 (each), Himovitz – 9, Bockman & Zamir – 4 (each) Rockni -2, Schwartzman -1.

Played but did not score: Simhoni. Jerassi and Alfasi.

Maccabi PT: Angel-26 (3 three-pointers), Aloni – 14, Darom – 8, Deri – 7, Blecher – 6, Cherna – 4, Cohen – 3. Also played Nadav Naor.   

 

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