After winning six consecutive derbies, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv lost 77:73 to Hapoel Tel Aviv to finish the first round of the domestic league at the top of the standings (9:2 record). Roll 13P, Cole 11P and Jackson brought Maccabi back from a 15 points deficit in the first quarter but lost focus in the fourth quarter. The yellows will now try to recover on Friday in EuroLeague second round opener as they will play on the road versus Real Madrid.
Coach Spahija's starting five: Jackson, Roll, Mashour, Bolden and Tyus. Hapoel started the game better as they took the 5:0 lead two minutes into the game. Jackson and Tyus scored For Maccabi but Hapoel reacted to take the 17:4 lead as the first quarter reached its halfway mark. Norris Cole stepped in after a time out and made his presence felt immediately as Hapoel's lead was now 19:12. Hapoel reacted with six points to increase their lead again to 24:12, Zoosman who missed the first derby on Sunday scored Maccabi's first three pointer of the game and Art sealed the first quarter as Hapoel were up 29:19.
Zoosman opened the second quarter with a three pointer (29:22) and alongside Art managed to get closer and closer to Hapoel as the scoreboard showed 32:26. The reds scored again to get the double digit lead (36:26), however this time it was Bolden and Jackson who took Hapoel's lead down to just five points with five minutes remaining in the first half. The yellows stepped up on defense again and a midrange by Tyus who also followed with a dunk after an offensive rebound finished the first half with local team trailing 39:37.
Maccabi opened the second half the same way the first ended, great defense and efficiency on offense as Roll & Cole gave Maccabi its first lead in the game and as the scoreboard showed 43:39 for the hosts Hapoel called for a timeout. Limonad and Banks gave Hapoel the 47:43 lead with five minutes left in the third. John-Di and Mashour brought Maccabi closer to within a striking distance (49:48). Maccabi turned the ball over and Hapoel capitalized. John tied the game at 51 apiece with a three pointer but Gaffney's successful free throws gave Hapoel the 53:51 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Roll opened the fourth quarter very sharp as he gave Maccabi the lead again (56:55), Bolden and Cole increased their lead to 60:55 but Hapoel stayed in the game with four points taking Maccabi's lead to 60:59, Jackson no look pass to Tyus was followed by a John-Di's three pointer as Maccabi were up 65:61. The reds tied the game (66:66) with three minutes left in the game. Roll scored but Hapoel reacted with five points to take the 71:68 lead with a minute left in the game (71:70. The reds increased their lead with successful free throws to win the derby 77:73.