Maccabi Haifa on Sunday joined Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final of this season's basketball Super League, winning a dramatic Game 5 against Hapoel Eilat last night. The one-game final will be played in Haifa on Thursday.
Both teams were guilty of unfocused, error-strewn play, in a game that reached a climax in the fourth quarter. Paul Stoll led the way for Haifa, with eight steals and 15 points in a 71-68 victory. Donta Smith added 21 points, including two from the foul line in the final minute.
With Haifa leading 71-68 and with 10 seconds on the clock, Eilat had a golden opportunity to force the game into overtime thanks to a needless Haifa turnover, but the Haifa defense had the presence of mind to commit a foul on Afik Nissim, preventing him from shooting for three. Nissim missed the first foul throw and the second on purpose, and a teammate managed to grab the rebound. His throw was from outside the paint but missed the basket and the buzzer heralded a home victory.