Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv couldn't repeat their recent stretch in the domestic competition, suffering an 85:91 loss to Hapoel Eilat, ending a Yellow & Blue 7 game Israeli Winner League winning streak. Despite suffering their 3rd domestic loss, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad still holds the top position in the league table with a 13:3 record. Maccabi will now get to work towards their double EuroLeague week, as CSKA Moscow comes to Menora Mivtachim Arena on Tuesday.
The Yellow & Blue lacked intensity on the defensive end, chasing Ariel Beit Halachmi's unit for most of the contest despite receiving 20 point performances by Dorsey and Zizic, who completed a double double, adding 11 rebounds.
Chris Jones, Elijah Bryant, Sandy Cohen, Oz Blayzer, and Ante Zizic started for the Yellow & Blue. On the other end, Markel Brown, Joe Ragland, Ben Carter, Casey Prather, and Josh Nibo opened for the hosts.
The game began at a high pace as Jones dished a beautiful assist to Bryant inside, and a Blayzer steal led to a Cohen triple, 7:7. Prather and Carter gave the host a 5 point edge, but Maccabi went on a 7:0 run as Zizic and Bender worked their way inside, and Blayzer converted a three-point possession, 14:12.
A Prather dunk began a 12:0 hosts stretch as Nibo joined with multiple buckets in the paint, giving Eilat a double-digit advantage, but Casspi came off the bench and scored 4 points, including a steal and a dunk on the other end, reducing the hosts margin to 6 after 10 minutes, 20:26.
Casspi added an assist to Zizic inside to open the second quarter, but the southern squad picked the ball three consecutive times, leading to easy points on the offensive end, and Jonathan Skj?ldebrand connected back to back triples, regaining the double-digit advantage, 45:28.
Zizic laid in two inside after a beautiful pass by T.J. Cline, and Tyler Dorsey put the visitors on his back, totaling 7 points answered from deep, narrowing the gap to 13. Cline scored in the post and dished an assist to Blayzer, going down to the locker rooms down by 12, 40:52.
Blayzer and Brown exchanged three-pointers, and a Jones steal led to a Bryant triple in transition, lessening the margin to 8, 53:61. Cohen blocked Carter, later drilled a shot from deep after a Casspi steal who followed with a layup inside, 62:68. Eilat closed the quarter with a Skj?ldebrand three, 62:71.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Dorsey and Cohen cut the lead down to 4, but Prather responded from way downtown keeping a 7 point difference. A Skj?ldebrand triple and Nibo dunk regained a double-digit advantage, but Dorsey, with two buckets, led an 8:0 stretch as Bryant drove to the basket and dished an outlet pass to Jones, who knocked down a corner triple, diminishing the margin down to 2, 80:82.
Brown's layup stopped the Yellow & Blue momentum, and Ragland converted one of two from the free-throw line increasing the hosts advantage up to 5. Maccabi failed to complete the turnaround, although Dorsey contributed 5 points as Ragland and Prather closed the deal from the charity strike. Hapoel Eilat defeats Maccabi, 91:85.