After a successful Regular Season, Ironi Nahariya snatched Game 4 of the Israeli National League Final to win the league and book a place in next season’s Super League. Nahariya gunned down Hapoel Afula 77-80 on the road to take the finals series 3-1.
The club had been the team to beat throughout the Regular Season, winning the league with a 20-6 record. Passage through the playoffs has been serene with the club losing just one game during the final series and going unbeaten through the quarter and semi-finals. However, the champs were made to work hard for the win as Afula challenged throughout the contest in the hope of tying the series at 2-2.
Ironi Nahariya started the better team, with the visitors signalling their intent with a solid first frame that brought with it a lead of 15-21. In the second stanza Afula responded in front of its home fans and started finding the basket more regularly, ending the second period and the first half with the score at 33-37. It was still too close to call heading into the second half and the third period did little to separate the teams. In fact, the hosts won the frame 25-22 to put the score at 58-59 with just one point between the teams with 10 minutes to play. A tense fourth quarter could have gone either way as the teams traded baskets throughout. As the 40 minute buzzer sounded to end the game, Ironi Nahariya had held out to sneak the win, title, and promotion.
Nate Miller paced Ironi with a double-double performance of 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Dinma Odiakosa took 15 points and 8 rebounds.
Roburt Sallie was the standout performer on the court as the Afula guard notched a whopping 33 points and 9 rebounds.