By: David Pick and Carmel Drori
A friendly scrimmage between Ironi Asheklon and Maccabi Haifa tipped off tonight's Israeli 'Chance' cup semi-finals double-header. A tight first three quarters had no reflection of what Ashkelon's Dwayne Mitchell prepared in the final 10-minutes leading his team to an impressive 22:8 quarter run and 85:68 victory.
Tony Skinn had a game high 25 points but Dwayne Mitchell was monstrous on both ends of the floor finishing with 13 points, 16 rebounds (7 offensive), 9 assists, 5 steals and an overall stat evaluation of 31. Marco Killingworth 19 and Raviv Limonad had 17 respectively for the winners. Sylvan Landesberg's 17 (7 rebounds) and Carlos Powell's double-double 15 points, 11 boards, wasn't enough.
Hapoel Holon 84 Maccabi Rishon 81
Holon: Ron Lewis 24 (6 threes), Dan Grunfeld 14, Tasmin Mitchell (9rebounds) & Bryant Dunston (5 rebounds) had 13 points each, Sean Daniel 7, Oded Shaashoua 6 and Moran Roth finished with 4 points.
Rishon: Brandon Bowman (11 rebounds) 15 points, Darwin Kitchen (10 rebounds) and Adrian Uter had 12 points each, Joey Crawford and Eyal Shulman had 11 points each in a losing effort.
Game1 of the tonight's semis action saw two equal teams (Hapoel Holon & Maccabi Rishon) battle for right to meet Maccabi in Thursday's finals. Both teams played an aggressive first half ending with a minimal 31:30 Holon lead, led by their fantastic American/Israeli Dan Grunfeld with 14-points.
Darwin Kitchen's buzzer beating put back continued the close match but flipped things over, 49:47, Rison, after three. Rishon managed to open a small 59:53 gap, but three treys from Ron Lewis, and another by Shaashoua, closed a 12:1 Holonian blitz. Bowman and Uter rallied Rishon back into things with 5 points in the last 20 seconds forcing overtime, 69:69. Both teams exchanged OT buckets, but Lewis hit his sixth three from down town calling it a night, 84:81.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 102 Hapoel Jerusalem 82
Another easy win for Maccabi Tel-Aviv this evening, this time the victim was Hapoel Jerusalem. Just like in previous games, Maccabi was just too good and just Hapoel didn't stand a chance against David Blatt's team.
Avery Bradley,Hapoel's new guard arrived yesterday but didn't play, unlike John Thomas who also arrived yesterday but did play due to Brian Randle's injury.
Both teams didn't play their best basketball, as a result today's game was focused on the referees with some very questionable calls during the game. After Sofoklis Schortsanitis was called for his 3rd foul in the second quarter, the Greek center wasn't too happy about the call and he made sure everyone knew that, the technical foul wasn't far behind. In the second half of the game a technical was called on Hapoel's coach Oded Katash, the refs called another foul on Jerusalem, making Katash very unhappy and eventually ejected from the game after he got his second tech of the game.
Maccabi wins 102-82 and advances to the final where they'll meet Hapoel Holon.
Maccabi: Devin Smith 17 (6/9-2, 7 rebounds), Lior Eliyahu 14, Guy Pnini 14, Jordan Farmar 13 (4 assists), Yogev Ohayon 12, Jon Scheyer 10.
Hapoel: D.J. Strawberry 28 (9/15-2), Elishay Kadir 12, Luke Jackson 12 (6 rebounds), Jarvis Varnado 10 (8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 assists)