The second game in the semi-finals of the State Cup tonight (Monday) brought together Hapoel Jerusalem with Hapoel Haifa at Hafis Arena and at the end the Jerusalemites came out with the dramatic victory 73:77 and the second ticket to the finals that will take place on Thursday, where Maccabi Tel Aviv awaits.
Aleksandar Džikić's apprentices came to the match held on their home field as clear favorites for a victory that would return them to the finals, where they had not been in the last three years.
From the other side, the Reds from Carmel, who qualified for the semi-finals after knocking out Hapoel Holon on their home court, dreamed of making history for the club and advancing to the finals for the first time in its history.
Befitting a game that took place on their home field, the group from Jerusalem enjoyed a distinct advantage in the stands and the support of 5,000 red fans who pushed them.
On the other hand, 800 fans made the long way from Carmel and supported their team in the capital.
A few days before the match, Sharon Drucker received an impressive reinforcement in the form of former Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil - Justin Tillman, who returned to Israel and made his debut in the semi-finals of the cup.
The forward looked great and produced 12 points and 9 rebounds already in his first game in the white uniform.
The first half was characterized by an aggressive and balanced game, with none of the teams managing to escape their opponent.
On the Haifa side, it was Anthony Hickey who stood out with 15 points already in the half and led his friends, and on the other hand, Zach Hankins kept the Jerusalemites tight with a wonderful ability under the baskets.
Sharon Drucker's apprentices, led by Amit Simhon and Hickey, took command in the third quarter, took control of the game offensively and stopped the Reds at only 13 points, en route to a double-digit lead, but the Jerusalemites, led by Noam Ya'akov and Iti Segev, once again this season made a great comeback in the last quarter en route to the final.
Photographs: Alan Shiver
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