Maccabi, Holon reach Israeli Cup finals
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv qualified for the finals of the Israeli State Cup after rallying in the fourth quarter to edge Maccabi Ashdod 76-73 at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Monday night. Maccabi will have a chance to defend its Cup crown and go for its ninth consecutive Israeli Cup title against Hapoel Holon on Thursday. In the first semifinal clash, Maccabi Tel Aviv trailed for most of the night, and fell behind 53-61 with eight minutes to go. Sek Henry's layup gave Ashdod a 57-65 advantage two minutes later and forced a Maccabi Tel Aviv timeout, but what followed was 12-0 run during which Jake Cohen had a three-point play, and John DiBartolomeo a triple to help make it 69-65. Resilient Ashdod did not go away, however, after Norris Cole and Cameron Long traded three-pointers in the final minute, to make it 72-71, Pierre Jackson hit from downtown and drew a foul, with 12 seconds remaining, helping Maccabi Tel Aviv to hold on. DiBartolomeo paced the winners with 18 points and 4 assists, while Cohen finished with 13 points. andMichael Roll had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in victory. Alex Chubrovich amassed 18 points plus 18 rebounds for Ashdod.
In the second semifinal game, Holon beat Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 67-76 in a game of runs. Jerusalem used an 11-0 run late in the second quarter to lead 37-36 at halftime, but Holon finished the third quarter with a 4-18 spurt to take a 48-56 lead and scored the first 8 points of the fourth quarter to open a 16-point margin, which it protected the rest of the way. Glen Rice Jr. paced the winner with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks, while Calin Lukas scored 18 points for Jerusalem.