By Amy Samin
In Week 31 of the Israeli Winner Sal League, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv lost on the road to Maccabi Haifa 87-78 but remains in first place in the league. Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi's scorers with 29 points (6 of 9 from three). Joe Alexander added 17 points (11 of 16 from the foul line) and 8 rebounds. Devin Smith contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Starters for Maccabi were Devin Smith, Jeremy Pargo, Jake Cohen, Yogev Ohayon, and Joe Alexander. The game got off to a slow start, and after three minutes the score stood at 5-5. The hosts began scoring and steadily increased their lead; despite points by Alexander and Smith the period ended with Haifa up 25-13.
The home team upped their lead to 15 as the second quarter got underway, but Smith responded with two triples and, together with Sylven Landesberg who got into the zone and Alexander from the foul line, cut their deficit to 37-35. Haifa put the brakes on Maccabi's run, but points from the charity stripe by Ohayon kept the yellows close as the teams went into halftime with the hosts holding a 41-37 lead.
Haifa dominated the start of the third quarter and opened up a 49-38 lead in the first two minutes. Alexander went to the line time after time, keeping Maccabi in the game, but the home team protected their double digit lead as the clock moved to the five minute mark in the period. Landesberg and Ohayon with points from downtown and Alexander scoring in the paint put Maccabi within three, 59-56 with two and a half minutes in the quarter. Again Haifa put the stops on Maccabi's offense, and the period ended with the greens leading 66-61.
In the first minute of the fourth quarter Alexander and Landesberg combined to tie the score at 66, but Haifa once again rebuilt their lead to 11 with five minutes left in the game. Pargo and Landesberg made it a seven point game with one minute left, but in the end Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv lost to Maccabi Haifa 87-78.