Narrow Victories Highlight FM Home Loans Israel Basketball League
By Betzalel Vanderhoof
The fourth week of The FM Home Loans Israel Basketball League showcased great matchups, excellent performances, and some of the top teams in the league facing off.
Midrash Ballers vs. Imrei Binah
In the first game of the week, Imrei Binah took on the Midrash Ballers. Although not many believed this game would be close, those within Midrash believed the Ballers would put up a fight and keep it close enough to have a chance at the upset. Imrei came out firing and got off to a great start and kept it up throughout. They had a lot of contributions in this one, as Moshe Gross poured in 22 points while Yeshaya Fried added 20. Fried was lights-out from downtown, knocking down 6 three-pointers. The Ballers were paced by Nathanel Assayag’s 15 points. In the end Imrei took this one 61-35, but the final score doesn’t do justice to the Ballers’ play. Imrei moved to 3-1 and are now just one game out of first place.
TC vs. Neveh Fighters
The second game of the night was a matchup between Toras Chaim and Neveh Fighters, a match that could make a difference for the playoff seeding. This game turned out to be all that it was anticipated to be. It was a tight, well-played game from start to finish. Jack Jackobowitz helped TC get off to a good start and take a 20-15 lead into the half. Simcha Menlo and Neveh tried valiantly to come back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome TC’s balanced attack, as every TC player scored. Jack and Mark Pollack had 12 and 8 respectively, to give TC a very hard fought victory in an extremely defensive game 39-33. Simicha led the Fighters with 21. TC is now 2-2 as they picked up a big win in this one against an opponent who is right in the thick of things in the playoff race.
Symphony Care Network vs. Samet Team
The Symphony Care Network and Samet Team faced off in a matchup featuring two teams that play hard every time out. SCN and Samet Team battled in a close match wire to wire. Ultimately SCN took this one by a final score of 50-42. They got a great outing from Tzvi Winter who dropped a game-high 17 points. Samet Team had four players score 7 or more points with Dan Melnik scoring 12, while Mordy Kirschner, Yisroel Luchansky, and Ahron Fox had 9, 8, and 7 each. SCN stayed undefeated as they are now 3-0 and a half-game out of first place.
Regah Ventures vs. Cyclone Investment Group
Regah Ventures and Cyclone Investment Group added to the already exciting week with another close game that came down to the wire. CIG had a full team effort with three players going over 10 points. Jackie Haber lead the way with 22, including 15 in the first half alone. Freddy Swaid contributed with 16. Aaron Mizrachi led the charge for the Regah as he erupted for a game high 26 points. Even with that excellent performance CIG managed to hold off the Regah Ventures to win by a slim 4 point margin 61-57. Cyclone Investment Group kept pace and are now tied for third place with Imrei, and only a game out of first at 3-1. Regah Ventures now sit at 2-2 just a game behind CIG and Imrei in what is becoming a very crowded standings.
The Vikings vs. Bmoney Cards
In one of the most anticipated games of this young season, the #1 seed at 3-0, Bmoney Cards, faced off against The Vikings who came in at 2-1. The play did not disappoint as yet another game this week came down to the very end. Bmoney Cards were able to just pull this one out on the back of Shmuli Coates’s game-high 17 points. The Vikings Eitan Thurm and Ezra Sicklick helped their team’s cause with 11 and 9, but the Cards took this one 45-38. As a result Bmoney maintains their #1 spot, improving to 4-0.
Hebrwooos vs. Demi-Glaze
In yet another close game, Demi-Glaze just squeaked past Hebrwooos 36-33. This was a defensive game between two of the toughest teams in the league. Yaakov Oratz for Demi-Glaze and Moshe Kaheni for Hebrwooos each had 12 points to pace their respective teams. After this game Demi-Glaze are now 2-2 with an important tiebreaker now in their hands.
SINAI Schools vs. Baba Sali
In this game both SINAI Schools and Baba Sali had very balanced attacks, with every player scoring. Baba Sali’s Ikey Cohen had 11, while Moshe Cohen and Judah Klein each added 10. Gavi Domsky and Eli Sudwerts had 18 and 16 apiece for SINAI Schools. SINAI Schools pulled away late, and at the game’s close they got the win 54-46. With this win they became 2-2, still well within reach of playoff contention.
Chovat Piasecznas vs. AISH Heat
This game pitted two of the top teams in this league against each other. Chovat Piasecznas came into this one tied for first with a 3-0 record. Their opponent, the AISH Heat, came into this matchup 2-1 and were trying to make a statement win. Chovat got off to a great start on both sides of the ball. They were making smart plays, and playing sound fundamental defense. Ze’ev Remer was their big scorer in this game dropping a whopping 24 points to lead all scores. Jesse Spear and Tani Cohen added 10 each to help Chovat to the 54-29 victory. Avery Stepner was the Heat’s leading scorer, with 7 points. Chovat kept pace and stayed tied in first place with their 4-0 undefeated record.
Tubi Titans vs. Seidel Spartans
The Tubi Titans came into this game with the Seidel Spartans looking to keep pace with the other undefeated teams, who had all already won. They did just that while putting up a week-high 72 points as a team. And it was just that - a total team effort, with everyone contributing. The Titans had five players in double-digits, with Jojo Velenski leading the way with a team high 16, followed by teammates Steven Levian, Elie Ibgui, Zachary Brown, and Adam Kirschenbaum who had 14, 11, 10 and 10. Logan Spector poured in a game high 25 points, while showcasing his excellent ability to score and create for himself and open up his teammates. The final score was 72-38 and the Titans did keep up with the rest of the undefeated teams, staying tied atop the league with their now 4-0 record.
The Underdogs vs. Big Ballers
The last game of the week was another relatively close one, as The Underdogs took care of the Big Ballers 40-33. This was a gritty and tough defensive matchup between two teams that have been playing well and have shown flashes of greatness. The Underdogs took this one with great defense and the complement of three 8 point scorers. Samuel Sternberg used two three-pointers to help get his 8 points. Eitan Guzman and Zachary Klestzick were the other two players to score 8 in this one. Ikey Yadid put up a great effort, and kept it close the whole way through with his 12 points, which led the Big Ballers in this tight hard fought game.