Hapoel Jerusalem Wins Basketball State Championship for First Time

Jerusalem beats Eilat 88-68, securing win on their home court.

Nir Keidar

Hapoel Jerusalem on Thursday night beat Hapoel Eilat 88-68 and won, for the first time in the club's history, the Israel State Championship in Basketball.

"Every title in important, but making history is something else," Yotam Halperin, the team's captain said after the game. "We had one crazy season," Coach Danny Franko added, "but we became better with time and we deserve this title."

Playing on their home court in front of 11,000 fans, Jerusalem was trudging behind Eilat for the first half, with the point difference reaching a peak of 11 points. But on the third quarter, Jerusalem turned the table in a 20-point dash to Eilat's 2, securing the win.

"We went through a crazy experience," Hapoel CEO Guy Harel said. "This amazing crowd deserves this. This city deserves this, this team deserves this."

Jerusalem's Lior Eliyahu was picked MVP for the season.