BMoney remains flawless; dramatic wins for Derech Etz Chaim, Symphony Care
By Zak Lenik
Only a single team now remains undefeated in the FM Home Loans Israel Basketball League, as BMoney Cards won a see-saw battle over Chovat Piaseczna’s. Meanwhile, Derech Etz Chaim and Symphony Care each came away with dramatic wins over quality opponents, in the tight race for the top playoff seeds.
BMoney Cards vs. Chovat Piaseczna’s
In a battle of the final two undefeated teams and the most highly-anticipated matchup of the week, BMoney Cards faced off against Chovat Piaseczna’s. The game went back and forth, as the two juggernauts looked to be the last man standing with a perfect record. It was a tightly contested matchup until the final minutes, when BMoney pulled away 56-47.
BMoney’s big man Jason Zucker was masterful, getting position in the paint, and then choosing either to score or flip deft touch passes to Eli Jesselson, Spencer Rubinstein and Shmuli Coates. Chovat’s Zeev Reemer had 20 points, and Jesse Spear added 15.
Asked after the game whether they should now be considered the premier “team to beat”, BMoney captain Yosef Zakon responded simply “well, I guess no one’s beaten yet.”
Deco Gear Busketeers vs. Big Ballers
Deco Gear Musketeers notched another victory beating the Big Ballers 43-25. Deco Gear was led by a strong performance from Joe Sultan with 18, and a competitive team defense, keeping the Big Ballers to 25.
Regah Ventures vs. Baba Sali’s
Regah Ventures pulled out a convincing win over Baba Sali’s 50-35, working as usual in the half court offense. The evenly distributed Regah offense was led by Aaron Mizrachi with 14 points. The Regah Ventures are making a serious case as contenders, in close pursuit of a top-5 seed, at 5-2.
Cyclone Investment Group vs. Symphony Care Network
Cyclone Investment Group came out firing on all cylinders, as they took a big lead in the first half. The offense hit shots from all over the court, and the “every man is an island” defense was stifling.
Symphony entered the locker room down 14 points - and emerged a new team for the second half. It took just a few minutes for Symphony to storm back to a one possession game. From there it went back and forth for most of the second half. In the final stretch, Symphony Care was able to put it out of reach, securing the comeback, 61-54. Symphony Care was led by Tzvi Winters with 18, while Jackie Haber poured in 24 for Cyclone. Symphony improved their record to 6-1, and both teams look likely to challenge for the championship trophy.
Demi-Glaze vs. Samet Team
In a hard-fought game, Demi-Glaze faced off against Samet Team, and it was neck and neck throughout. Samet Team emerged with a tightly contested 52-49 victory, as they look to make a playoff run. Avi Rose spearheaded the Samet offense with 16, and everyone chipped in points, while Demi-Glaze moved the ball nicely and got everyone involved in a balanced attack.
Aish Heat vs. The Underdogs
Aish Heat came up with 57-40 victory, as Yonah Schechter put the team on his back, leading all scorers with a dominant 24 points. The Aish Heat are now flirting with a Tier 1 playoff berth, as the season hits the stretch run.
SINAI Schools vs. TC
In a game of big scoring runs, TC opened up significant leads on several occasions, only to see SINAI Schools repeatedly reel them back in. But in the final exchange TC pulled away, snagging a 61-51 victory. TC shot the ball remarkably well, hitting from all angles. It was a balanced effort led by Nechemia Gross with 17. Bennet Stein paced SINAI Schools with 20.
Derech Etz Chaim vs. Imre Binah
In a thriller that came down to the last shot, Derech Etz Chaim’s stalwart defense held true, forcing a potential game-tying from at least two steps beyond the arc - which brought the crowd to its feet, and just barely rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
In the tight game, DEC opened up a small lead late in the second half, but Moshe Gross brought Imre back in the final minutes, gaining a 1-point advantage. DEC responded with clutch free throws by Avi Proctor to regain the lead, to set up the dramatic final play.
Zevi Samet led DEC with 29, while Moshe Gross had 26 for Imre. The 61-58 Derech Etz Chaim victory keeps them just a single game out of first place, and well positioned for a run at the championship.
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