Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv closed out the regular season with a 24:4 record after dropping a home game to Maccabi Rishon Le'Zion 77:86. The game didn't affect any teams' position in the standings as it was an insignificant match before the start of the playoffs. Yovel Zoosman totaled 18 points & seven rebounds, Angelo Caloiaro added 16 points, and Deni Avdija finished the night with a double-double, scoring 15 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Maccabi's quarterfinals opponent (starting on Saturday evening) will be unveiled on Monday night as the bottom group will play their final fixture of the regular season.
Maccabi opened the game with Scottie Wilbekin, Yovel Zoosman, Deni Avdija, Angelo Caloiaro, and Othello Hunter in the starting five. Alex Hamilton nailed in a three for the first points of the game as Hunter laid it in that put the hosts on the board. Both teams exchanged buckets as Zoosman tied it up at 7. The oranges went on a 6:0 stretch as D'Angelo Harrison and Hamilton led the way for a 13:7 advantage midway through the first quarter.
Zoosman slammed it in to stop the visitors run, and Sandy Cohen added two more points in transition, which shifted the momentum towards the Yellow & Blue side. Zoosman, Cohen, and Avdija scored 9 consecutive points as Zoosman scored his 7th out of his 9 first-quarter points, which gave Maccabi their first lead of the night, 16:13. Caloiaro and Wilbekin each added two from the free-throw line, and Amar'e Stoudemire entered the scoring board with two of his own, after the first ten minutes, 24:17 Maccabi.
Dori Sahar came off the bench adding two buckets as Wilbekin tallied in a three-point play that gave the Yellow & Blue their first double-digit advantage of the night, 33:22. Avdija hit a shot from deep, but Harrison turned the momentum as Guy Goodes's squad scored 8 straight points, which cut Maccabi's lead down to 4, 36:32.
Hunter banged in a monstrous slam, and Zoosman scored the hosts' final 5 points of the quarter as Oz Blayzer knocked in a three to close out the first half, 49:43 Maccabi.
Avdija scored the second half's opening points, as Blayzer continued the momentum from the end of the first half with 5 straight points leading the visitors to a 7:0 stretch, giving them their first lead since midway through the first quarter, 46:45. Avdija added two more, but Hamilton completed an 11:2 run, which led Giannis Sfairopoulos to use a timeout, 50:47.
The Yellow & Blue came sharp off of the timeout, Hunter faded it in, and Calioaro drove a 6:0 stretch which made Guy Goodes respond with a timeout, 53:50. Darryl Monroe and Zoosman exchanged buckets in the final minutes of the third, as the Israeli guard laid it in with 4 seconds left, giving Maccabi a 61:58 advantage with 10 minutes left.
Adam Ariel turned the score around knocking in three consecutive three-pointers for the Oranges, but Stoudemire and Sahar with a corner three kept the hosts in it, 68:69. Zach Hankins and Blayzer completed a 12:0 run, which gave the visitors a 10 point advantage, 68:78. Caloiaro's floater reduced the lead to 9, as Goodes decided to take a timeout with 2:07 on the game clock. Ariel laid in two as Caloiaro and Avdija tried to create a miracle in the final minute but not tonight. Final score, Rishon beats Maccabi 86:77.