One of Arik Einstein’s most quoted lines spoke of “Hapoel losing again,” and nothing could be more apt this week than applying that line to Maccabi Tel Aviv, the late singer’s nemesis, which lost its fourth game in nine league outings last night, 87-85, against Hapoel Jerusalem.
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Maccabi Tel Aviv never expected an easy night in Jerusalem, despite finding its form against Crevna Belgrade in the Euroleague on Thursday. Neither team managed to pull away, leading to a close, nervous, game which was won only by Yotam Halperin’s heroics, (19 points) in one of the more bizarre moves to be seen in Israeli hoops history.
With Maccabi leading 85-84, Jerusalem’s Derwin Kitchen drove into the paint and tried to pass to Halperin. The ball would have gone out, but it hit the official, Gili Oved, and conveniently fell to Halperin, who swiftly buried the three pointer. Maccabi still had time, but Devin Smith and Yogev Ohayon missed their shots, cue havoc in the Jerusalem stands, and Jerusalem’s sixth win of the season.