Hapoel Tel Aviv tonight (Saturday) took another step towards the semi-finals of the Winner Basket League, when they beat Ironi Nes Ziona 75:106 and took a 0:2 lead in the series. Xavier Manford stood out with 30 points.
The Reds controlled the pace from the first moment and very quickly gained a double-digit advantage that later only grew. In the second half, the host made two comeback calls, but each time it was needed, Manford and Tomer Ginat provided points and took the wind out of Ness Ziona’s sails. In the last quarter, the difference was only 13, but the guest exploded on the way to a brilliant victory.
The Reds will host the third game in the series on Tuesday, with a win completing the job for them and sending them to the semi-finals. Elad Hossein’s team needs a miracle and three consecutive victories to surprise everyone and dethrone the Reds.
Scored for Hapoel Tel Aviv: Xavier Manford 30 points, Tomer Ginat (12 rebounds) 17 points, Jaylen Hurd 11 points, Chinano Onuaku and Jordan McRae 9 points, Gil Bani 8 points, Jacob Brown (9 Assists) Weber Timor 7 points 21, Idan Zalmanson 6 points and Eyal Harel 2 points.
They scored a miracle for the city of Ziona: Tyler Bay (14 rebounds) 23 points, Raz Adam 21 points, Jerome Mainsey 12 points, Ronnie Harrell 7 points, Tsuf Ben Moshe 5 points, Shaq Buchanan 3 points, DJ Cooper (12 assists ) and Tomer Levinson 2 points.
First quarter – 13:26 Le Hapoel Tel Aviv
Nes Ziona urban five: DJ Cooper, Tyler Bay, Tsuf Ben Moshe, Ronnie Harrell, Jerome Mainsey.
Five Hapoel Tel Aviv: Jacob Brown, Bar Timur, Jordan McRae, Tomer Ginat and Chinano Onoaku.
Hapoel Tel Aviv went to Onuaku in the opener, and its senior responded with six consecutive points. A 3-pointer by Bar Timur closed the run 0:9 and Elad Hossein called a quick timeout, immediately after which Tyler Bey scored the first points for the host.--
Bay and Ginat exchanged points and Raz Adam reduced the difference to only five with a basket and a foul. The tempo of the game increased, Xavier Manford came off the bench excellently, with his points in an impressive float and another three-pointer a few attacks later. Ness Ziona had a terrible quarter from the free throw line as she made only one of her six shots from range. On the other side, McRae scored twice and scored 13:26 for Hapoel Tel Aviv after 10 minutes of basketball.
Second quarter – 33:50 to Hapoel Tel Aviv
Harrell scored Nes Ziona’s first 3-pointer in the game and reduced the difference to single digits, Ginat responded immediately with points after an offensive rebound. The Israeli forward started bleeding after being hit in the head and had to go down to receive treatment. The margin settled between eight and 12 points as Brown and Mainsey traded points from the line, and Manford finished off another great burst.
Manford took control of the business as he provided a tremendous block on one side and added an assist to the basket and a foul by Onuaku on the other side. Gil Benny and Tyler Bay exchanged three-pointers, Raz Adam provided another basket and a foul, and Tomer Ginat, who returned to the floor, added four of his own. Just before the end of the quarter, Jacoben Brown made a three-pointer, Elad Hassin received a technical foul and a basket on Manford’s buzzer-beater made it 33:50 for the Reds going into the break.
Third quarter – 56:69 to Hapoel Tel Aviv
A 3-pointer by Tomer Ginat increased the difference to 20 immediately at the start of the second half. Onuaku committed his fourth foul, Mainsy’s points, in addition to Raz Adam’s basket and foul, led to a 0:9 run by the host, who managed to generate momentum and close the gap. Manford did not panic, buried two 3-pointers from the corner and returned the difference to 20.
When it seemed like the game was over, Tyler Bey woke up and Nes Ziona ran again. Tsuf Ben Moshe hit a 3-pointer and Bey’s points reduced the difference to only 13 points, with 10 minutes of basketball remaining.
Fourth quarter – 75:106 to Hapoel Tel Aviv
Although Onuaku committed his fifth foul and ended his part of the game, the visitor started the last quarter better with quick points by how not, Ginat and Manford. Jaylen Hurd got into things and scored six straight points.
Manford buried another three and on the other side Cooper scored his first points of the game. Jacoben Brown provided a wonderful assist to Manford who scored in addition to the foul and increased the difference to 23 with five minutes of basketball remaining. Ness Ziona raised their hands and the difference grew to the 30th district, when the guest’s young Eyal Harel also joined the celebration and at the end 75:106 to the Reds who looked great.