Maccabi Kiryat Gat wins Israel National League

Maccabi Kiryat GatMaccabi Kiryat Gat has been crowned the champion of the Israel National League (Liga Leumit) for 2015, and will now be promoted to the Super League top flight. The second tier club clashed with National League opponent Ironi Kiryat-Ata in what was a make or break game in the finals series. After going toe to toe over the opening four games the score was 2-2 heading into this decisive contest, but Maccabi Kiryat Gat managed to cruise to the title with a 74-93 road win.

The victory means the club will compete its first Super League this century, but it could have been very different. Not least because Kiryat-Ata had home court advantage in game 5, but the hosts failed to cope with Kiryat Gat throughout as the visitors strolled to the title.

The first quarter was close, with the teams getting plenty of action in the paint, but Kiryat Gat managed to pace to a 17-18 lead through ten minutes. In the second quarter the travelling team pulled away with a 13-24 run that made it 30-42 through the long break. Gat had the momentum in the third act and used it to consolidate, trading buckets with Ironi through the period to ensure the 12 point deficit stayed intact through thirty minutes (55-67). With the title in sight the visitors went hot in the fourth quarter and poured in 26 points to record an emphatic win.

Richard Rellford had a top game with 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Terrence Watson and Jonhatan Nir both hit 19 points for the winners.

Dallis Joyner topped the losing effort with 16 points, followed by the only double-double of the contest from Julien Mills, who managed 12 points and 11 boards.

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