Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From National to the Final

Israel Today Sports

Monday, May 11, 2009

Avi Segal

From National to the Final

Perkins swept Maccabi Haifa to a victory over Bnei Hasharon. The bonus: Final 4 at the comeback season. Holon & Gilboa \ Galil go to a 5th game. Maccabi Tel Aviv went up too.

One fight is left. It started close and stormy with 7 away wins in the 2 1st series, but in the end of the day only one series goes to 5th game. Galil or Holon will complete the quartet and all of a sudden everything is working out: the teams that finished in the 1st 3 spots are already there, the one who will come later will have to fight until the last moment.

Jerusalem got 12 days to prepare to the Final 4 and Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa got 9. The 4th runner up will have to settle for 5. Now the speculations will start to whom it's good and to whom it's bad.

After the 2nd game in Ashkelon we knew that Maccabi Tel Aviv will be there (97:65 yesterday) and even won't need 5 games. For Maccabi Haifa it was less expected and much bigger after an away win yesterday of 87:68. A great achievement because a team that only went up this season got over in the middle of the season an injury of a key player (Doron Perkins), got into a delay and home advantage loss in the 1st game and since did 3:1. It's nice to have money, an organized club and a name with American scent (Maccabi Haifa Heat), but it's needed to know to fulfill aspirations and that did yesterday Avi Ashkenazi.

The ultimate center. Haifa did it yesterday with the tools that brought it so far: defense, rhythm control, discipline and Doron Perkins. It's been a while since we remember such a good defense team. I already have the season player and it's Perkins – the player that effected the most on a team in our league this season, the player that knew how to combine personal ability and team achievements.

Form the National to the Final 4. It's the 2nd season now that we have of a team that went up from the national league to the final 4. Haifa , to whom that forgot, went up this season from the national league and leaving theoretical possibilities that the champion will come again straight as the new runner up.

Bnei Hasharon enjoys this season a lot for many easing circumstances – injuries, coaches change and more injuries, but the bottom line is that the team that made in the last 2 years Final 4 and Cup Final goes to sea already this morning, a lot less than the expectations.

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