Head coach Lior Lubin hoped his Gilboa/Galil would pick up its first Super League win of the young basketball season yesterday at the expense of his former coach Erez Edelstein, under whom he reached the playoffs in a Ramat Gan uniform a decade ago. However, Hapoel Tel Aviv didn't cut Lubin or his players any breaks, winning 72-62 at Gan Ner and sending the hosts to their sixth consecutive defeat.
After a subdued first half, from which Hapoel Tel Aviv emerged with a 34-32 lead, both teams picked up their aggressiveness on offense. Gilboa/Galil relied on Brandon Hunter, building a slight advantage at 62-57 with less than six minutes remaining.
However, the student was not to surpass his former master last night. Edelstein turned to Gal Eitan and Matan Naor, while Lubin made the questionable call of keeping on the bench Amit Simhon, who had played very well all evening.
Gilboa/Galil missed seven straight shots and turned the ball over four times from that point until the end of the game as Hapoel Tel Aviv scored 15 unanswered points to close out the comeback victory.
"It's a very painful loss," said Lubin after the game. "My role in our situation is big. We'll do everything to fix things."
Demontez Stitt led Hapoel with 21 points, while Eitan scored 12 and Curtis Kelly and Matan Naor added 11 each.Ramat Hasharon survives in OT
In the women's Premier League, Ramat Hen nearly pulled off as impressive a comeback as Hapoel Tel Aviv, except that Ramat Hasharon managed to tie the game in regulation and win 86-83 in overtime for its first victory of the season.
Ramat Hen went on a 14-0 run to erase an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit. Karima Christmas suddenly found her shot and sank two straight baskets and then a pair of free throws to give Ramat Hen the lead at 72-71 and Liran Buchnis capped the run with two free throws.
Down three with 5.0 seconds left, Ramat Hasharon pulled off a clever play as Kaili McLaren broke free to receive the inbounds pass and drain her first three-point attmept to tie it at 74-all.
Ramat Hasharon led wire-to-wire in the extra period. Up three, the team denied Ramat Hen a clear three-point shot to tie.
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