Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv's tight three-game schedule opened with a bang on Wednesday night as Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad hammered Maccabi Haifa 95:60. With the home victory, the Yellow & Blue improve their record to 8:2 as their next contest is within less than 48 hours against Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
The Yellow & Blue got it going right out of the gate, hitting six threes while allowing only 13 points first-quarter, opening a 22 point edge after 10 minutes. The commanding lead stood at 43 late in the fourth quarter as all 11 Maccabi players contributed tonight, each playing over 10 minutes and scoring at least 5 points.
Angelo Caloiaro led the scorers with 13 points, Oz Blayzer added 12 points and 4 rebounds, as Dragan Bender contributed 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Dori Sahar had an excellent performance, scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
Scottie Wilbekin, Elijah Bryant, Yovel Zoosman, Angelo Caloiaro, and Ante Zizic started for the Yellow & Blue as Naor Sharon, Rigoberto Mendoza, Donta Smith, Roman Sorkin, and Michael Cobbins opened the games for the Greens.
Wilbekin and Caloiaro fired from deep in the early stages of the contest as the American guard lifted Oz Blayzer for a vicious alley-oop slam, 13:8. The forward continued the hot start tallying six of Maccabi's next nine points, Caloiaro added another shot from behind the arc and laid in two after a Dragan Bender steal, giving the hosts their first double-digit lead of the evening, 25:11.
Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad maintained their lockdown defense as Bryant recorded multiple steals and John DiBartolomeo took advantage on the offensive end, tallying five points as part of a 14:0 stretch, 32:11. Michael Brisker stopped the run with a bucket inside, but Bryant closed out the impressive quarter with Maccabi's 6th three-pointer, 35:13.
The Yellow & Blue defense kept on swiping the ball away from their opponents as Bryant, Wilbekin and Zoosman stole the ball in three consecutive possessions leading to points on the other end as Caloiaro and Eidan Alber connected from deep, 47:18. Cobbins and Brisker were the lone bright spots for the visitors as they narrowed the margin to 25, but Zoosman and Bender added points in the paint giving the hosts a 53:26 advantage at halftime.
Maccabi continued their dominant performance also in the second half. Bryant dished an assist to Zizic, who completed a three-point possession as Blayzer and DiBartolomeo hit back to back triples, ramping the margin over 30 points, 64:34. Zoosman and Bryant laid in buckets, and both converted their bonus point from the charity strike, 71:40.
Maccabi's youth alumni got it going in the fourth quarter. Dori Sahar and Yonatan Atias led an 11:1 run as Bender concluded it with a shot from deep, 92:49. Maccabi completes a dominant display demolishing Maccabi Haifa, 95:57.