Israel is one of the few countries that decided to restart the basketball season and finish the competition on the court. Therefore, the players went back to their teams and started the preparation with one goal in mind – winning the title.
After more than a month of games, the semifinals were set: Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Gilboa Galil and Hapoel Jerusalem vs. Maccabi Rishon.
In the first match, Hapoel Jerusalem had a bad start, while Maccabi Rishon played better in the second quarter and lead with a score of 60 to 50. After a close third quarter, Hapoel Jerusalem pushed their limits and managed to get back into the game.
With 19 seconds left, the score was 97-92 for Rishon. Jeremy Pargo refused to give up and scored five quick points that tied the score. As the players and fans started to prepare for overtime, Ariel Adam scored an incredibly difficult buzzer-beater that sent Maccabi Rishon into the finals.
However, that was not the only game-winner of the night.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is the main favorite to win the title, but their game against Galil Gilboa was not easy. Sfairopoulos’ team kept the lead for three quarters, and it seemed like the result will be as predicted.
Instead, Galil Gilboa bounced back and tied the game with one minute left. Deni Avdija lost the ball, but Yiftach Ziv committed a turnover as well.
In the last seconds of the game, Scottie Wilbekin showed his value and scored a three-pointer that sent Maccabi Tel Aviv to their third consecutive final.
After what we’ve seen in the semifinals, we can only expect a spectacular game in the final act, where Maccabi Rishon will try to revenge for the last season and dethrone Maccabi Tel Aviv.
*photo: Dov Halickman Photography