Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv sealed 2017 in the best possible way, with a win over Hapoel Tel Aviv 96:85 as they qualified to the Israeli Cup semifinals that will be played in February. Spahija's squad was led by Tyus, Roll, Jackson and Cohen who made sure it'll be known who the best side in Tel Aviv is. The yellows will now look to open 2018 with their right foot as they will play the second derby in three days only this time as the hosting side in the domestic league.
Coach Spahija's starting five: Jackson, Roll, Mashour, Bolden and Tyus. Bolden got into an early foul trouble and was replaced by Jake Cohen with Hapoel leading 4:2 two minutes into the game. Tyus Cohen and Jackson led a 10:2 run to gain the 14:6 lead which forced coach Franko to call for a timeout. Roll and Kane scored five points to increase the yellow lead to 19:10,however Hapoel reacted and took down the lead to just four points, Cohen answered with a three pointer but Hapoel came close to within a striking distance as the first quarter ended with Maccabi having the 22:20 lead.
Cohen was Maccabi's main guy in the second quarter as well, but the hosts managed to complete their comeback as they took the 30:27 lead after a three pointer by Banks, Roll scored (30:29) but Hapoel reacted (34:29). John-Di and Jackson tied the game at 34 apiece. Kane gave the 36:34 lead back to Maccabi, Jackson who was in the zone scored a three pointer to increase the lead to 45:38 at halftime.
The yellows opened the second half by storm as they increased their lead to 50:38. Hapoel called for a timeout from which they came back with back to back threes to get closer to Maccabi (50:47). Roll completed a three point play to cut short Hapoel's comeback attempt. Cohen's fourth three pointer of the night and his assist to Roll who finished with a layup made it 58:51 as the third quarter hit its halfway mark. Jackson and Tyus increased Maccabi's lead to 62:51. Both teams struggled to score, however despite a mini run by the hosting team, Bolden managed to beat the buzzer after an offensive rebound with the yellows being ahead 72:60 with ten minutes left to play in the game.
Tyus reached his double double and Cole who scored his first points in the game gave Maccabi the 76:63 lead two minutes into the final quarter. Banks scored for Hapoel but Roll reacted immediately to keep Maccabi's double digit lead. John-Di reached double digits in scoring (85:71) with five minutes left in the game. Tyus and Jackson who passed by Hapoel's defense banked the 96:85 away win as Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv qualified to the Israeli Cup semifinals.