The Israeli coaches who have beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv the most times (Photo: photo processing, Aarele Weisberg)
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv will meet tonight (Thursday, 21:15) in the playoff final for the first time since 2005. Even if this long break has somewhat forgotten past encounters, it certainly cannot erase many struggles waged by the two arch-rivals at the pinnacle of Israeli basketball.
- To date, there have been 15 derby series, all of which Maccabi won. In a best-of-three system, like the one that will open now, it struggled more; On five occasions it beat Hapoel 1:2 (most recently in 2020), and only twice closed things out 0:2 (in 1979 and 1989). In best-of-five series, she got six sweeps out of a possible eight.
- Thirteen of the 13 series opened with a yellow card victory in the first game. In 15 and 1985, the Reds managed to steal the home side, but then lost twice and surrendered 1987-2.
- This will be the tenth final between the two Tel Avivians. Hapoel feels closer than ever to regaining her title after 54 years. The last time it was crowned, in 1969, the championship record was 5:10 for Maccabi; Now it's at 5:55.
14.5 points in the third quarter, 1.8 points in every other quarter. Jacoben Brown (Photo: Kobi Eliyahu)
- Both finalists have a perfect 0-5 record in the playoffs so far, and perhaps the following statistic hints at how tight and tight this series can be: Ten of the last 12 derbies have ended by single-digit margins (and seven of them have been decided by five points or less).
- Dani Franco needs one win to become the Israeli coach who beat Maccabi Tel Aviv the most times in history. He currently stands at 15 in official settings, and to conquer the top he will have to subdue Oded Ketch - who currently shares the summit with him with 15 wins of his own.
- Both coaches have one championship (Ketch with Gilboa/Galil in 2010 and Franco with Hapoel Jerusalem in 2015), and among active coaches they are the most successful in the playoffs: Ketch ranks third in wins (47) and fifth in success rate (61.8), while Franco is sixth in percentage (57.9) and eighth in wins (33).
So that's why they signed him up for the final? Jerrell Martin celebrates a championship in Sydney, last year (Photo by Getty Images, Mark Metcalfe)
- Hapoel Tel Aviv has no reigning champions from last season, while Maccabi Tel Aviv's squad has three: Rafi Manko and Guy Pnini hoisted the plate in Israel with Hapoel Holon, and Jerel Martin won the Australian NBL championship with the Sydney Kings after averaging 17 points and 11.3 rebounds in the Finals.
- Alex Poythers met Hapoel Tel Aviv twice this season, and recorded his two best games in Israel: 20 points, 6 rebounds and 27 points in the league; 24 points, 7 rebounds and 28 points in the Winner's Cup final.
- The phrase "pay attention to Jacoben Brown" is always true in the context of Hapoel Tel Aviv, but this time it needs to be focused: pay attention to it mainly in the third quarter. In the two victories over Hapoel Jerusalem in the quarterfinals, he shelled out 29 of the 40 points he scored throughout the series – that is, 14.5 in the third quarter compared to 1.8 in every other quarter. He also had 11 in the league win in the derby (out of 32 in the entire game).
Was big on Maccabi Tel Aviv last season. Chinano Onuaku (Photo: Bernie Ardov)
- Most of the Reds' recent change has been defensive: after conceding 89.8 points per game in the upper house, they dropped Jerusalem and Ironi Ness Ziona to 68.8 and reduced their opponents' threes and percentage from beyond the arc by a third.
- In the three league derbies this season, Hapoel Tel Aviv did not drop from 60 percent to two: 41-25 in the first round (60.9%), 44-27 in the second round (61.3%) and 41-27 in the upper house (65.8%). In the rest of the season, it was 54.8 percent.
- Is the Yellowjackets' key player Roman Sorkin? In the three victories over the city rivals (including the Winner Cup), the Israeli center contributed 16 points, 10.3 rebounds and 24.3 points; In the only loss, he dropped to 3, 3 and 5 respectively.
- To stand out, Sorkin will have to stop Chinano Onuaku, who already knows how to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the series. Last year, in the semifinals with Bnei Herzliya, he exploded with 21 points, 28-22 for two (78.5%), 12.3 rebounds and 34.6 points.
- Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball
- Hapoel Tel Aviv Basketball