Omri Casspi sparked Maccabi Tel Aviv with 17 points in an 88-72 victory over visiting Hapoel Eliat on Sunday in the Israeli League semifinals.
Yovel Zoosman poured in 16 point, Ante Zizic contributed 11 and Scottie Wilbekin finished with eight points and eight assists for the hosts. Chris Jones had a 10-point outing.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is on Tuesday night in Eliat.
Casey Prather led Hapoel Eliat with a game-high 24 points. Joe Ragland chipped in with 14 points and eight assists. Teammate Derek Ogbeide put 10 points on the board.
Maccabi Tel Aviv held a 22-21 lead after the opening quarter.
Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos’ team then stretched its advantage to 45-34 by halftime and took a 66-52 lead into the fourth quarter.
Maccabi Tel Aviv dominates on the boards
Rebounding was one of the keys for the victors. In particular, on the offensive boards, where they had a 14-6 advantage.