Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Hapoel Tel Aviv on Thursday evening at the Menora Mivtachim Arena by a score of 79:90 to advance to 0-1 in the playoff finals, one win away from winning the championship title.
Positives - Israel Hayom Basketball Podcast - Episode 37
18 long years have passed since the city of Tel Aviv saw a derby in the playoff final, and long hours before the start of the match, you could feel the excitement of the fans in the streets leading to the arena. Both camps of fans provided an impressive show of support and pushed their team.
The series of events that took place off the court this week, the refusal of the Yellows to transfer the allocation of tickets to the game to the Reds and the intervention of the Basketball Association Tribunal, added to the deep rivalry that has prevailed for many years between the sides and the fan camps, and the atmosphere was tense.
In scenes that were more reminiscent of security incidents than a basketball game, metal detectors were deployed at the entrance to the arena gates, and players and staff were forced to undergo strict inspections in order to try to prevent powders from entering the court. A few seconds after the start of the match, dozens of flares were lit in the guests' stand.
Shimon Mizrahi and the wrestling of Hapoel Tel Aviv fans, photo: Alan Shaver
On the court, the hosts were in control throughout the game. The size and physicality under the baskets along with Jake Cohen's game-high and Wade Baldwin's terrific ability gave them an early double-digit lead. The yellow dominance continued in the second half with strong defence and the difference grew as the minutes passed. With the exception of Jordan McRae, who showed good ability, the rest of the Reds' key players struggled to influence the game offensively. On Sunday, the series will move to the Solomon Group Arena for the second game of the series.
Lorenzo Brown on his way to the basket, photo: Alan Shaver
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Firefighters in the stands of Menorah Hall, photo: Alan Shaver
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