Dylan Cooper, Gil Piwko, and Ethan Cooper combined for 28 points, as Philips Israel edge the Mevaseret Mavericks, 38-32. Josh Altman and Dylan Cooper helped build a 12-point lead for Philips Israel shortly after the intermission. The Mavericks climbed back within four, with under five minutes remaining, but the Philips Israel defense held strong for the win.
The Philips defense was impressive throughout the game, particularly in the 3-2 zone, forcing traps and tougher shots than those allowed in man coverage. Dylan Cooper grabbed 5 steals, and Mikhael Smits added an incredible 7 blocked shots. Smits also led the rebounding with 8, while Ethan Cooper and Piwko grabbed 7 apiece.
Nissi Merenstein's 16 points and Gavriel Velentzky's 15, fueled the Lobos' 61-44 win over the Mevaseret Mavericks - but perhaps the biggest story of the game was the emergence of Mavericks shooting guard Michael Sagi.
Sagi racked up 30 points on virtually unstoppable outside shooting. Starting by finding daylight on running jumpers, which he knocked down with deadly accuracy, he quickly convinced the Lobos they had to do whatever necessary to deny him a good look at the hoop. Undeterred even then, Sagi shifted to contested three-pointers, and still couldn't seem to miss.
Lobos finally pulled away, thanks largely to clutch defense by Meshulem Novacellar, including a block and several steals, one of which he converted to a three-pointer to put the game away.
The Tzionim earned a win over Sam's Bagels/Afek, 49-32, as Chaim Friedman controlled the paint on both ends of the court, with 16 points on dominant inside shooting, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks.
The Tzionim opened things up with a 15-2 run at the end of the half. Guard Shloime Liff provided the spark with 6 straight points, among his 10 on the night, including a dazzling 360 reverse layup. Moshe Beitler and Yehuda Shuck had 10 points apiece, and Elisha Adelman scored 9, adjusting well to his new role as power forward.
Sams Bagel's 3-point sharpshooter Menachem Greenberg notched 15 points, and Michael Shamsayev had 12.
In the week's biggest nail-biter, the Jays hit the game winner with 8 seconds left, then held on defensively, for a heart-stopping 51-50 win over Sharaga. The Jays repeatedly extended their lead to 8 or 10, only to see the resilient Shraga crew rally to within a bucket. With under a minute left, Sharaga took their first lead of the game with a fearless three-pointer, to go up 50-49, but the Jays didn't fold under pressure, coming away with the slimmest of victories.
Michael Hakakian led all scorers with 15 points, Josh Ottensoser put up 14, and Judah Cohen had 8. For Sharaga, Schreier and Kafka had 14 apiece, while Sharaga and Lautman had 10.
An injured Sheldon "Boogie" Rubin (ankle) still managed to lead Uncle Drew's, with 19 points, 5 blocks and 4 steals, in their 55-35 win over Flint Tropics.
Eliyahu "Yahoo" Klein and Josh "Birdman" Bergman set up shop in the paint, with Klein achieving his first career double-double on 21 points and 11 rebounds.
JJ "Melo" Berman ran the offense with precision, and shot 5 for 6 from beyond the arc to give the Drews an early lead which they would never relinquish. Akiva Topper keyed the U.D. defense.