Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv won its 45th State Cup title thanks to an 86:69 victory over Maccabi Rishon Le'Zion 86:69 in Holon Arena. After three seasons, the Yellow & Blue regained the cup, winning its second title this 2020/21 season after lifting the Winner Cup earlier in the year. Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad has one mission left on their journey, winning the Israeli Championship, which will conclude a treble season.
Maccabi ran away from the Oranges in the second half behind incredible performances. Yovel Zoosman was named the MVP of the game finishing the night with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Scottie Wilbekin (7 assists) and Ante Zizic (8 rebounds) each had significant roles in the win providing 16 points each.
Maccabi opened the finals with Scottie Wilbekin, Yovel Zoosman, Angelo Caloiaro, Omri Casspi, and Ante Zizic, while Tal Peled, Yogev Ovadia Omer Hamama, Noam Avivi, Ido Flaisher started for Guy Goodes's squad.
The Yellow & Blue couldn't find the bottom of the net in the first two minutes of the contest as Rishon took advantage of a quick 7:0 start. Wilbekin floated in Maccabi's first bucket of the night as back-to-back strong defensive possessions led to points in the paint by Zizic, Zoosman, and Caloiaro, turning the score around, scoring 8 unanswered points, 8:7.
Both sides exchanged the lead as Akil Mitchell scored 4 points for the Oranges of the bench, while on the other end, Zoosman knocked down a shot from behind the arc, tying the contest at 13. Oz Blayzer came out strong with a lot of energy, grabbing multiple offensive boards utilizing them for points inside as Othello Hunter determined the first quarter's score after converted twice from the free-throw line, 19:17.
The first minutes of the second quarter were all about offense as Egor Koulechov laid in two and added one from the line for a three-point possession, Golan Gutt and Peled drilled triples. The Yellow & Blue answered with Chris Jones, who hit a mid-range jumper and a three-pointer, and John DiBartolomeo buried a deep three, 27:26.
Zoosman found Blayzer on the baseline for a two-handed slam, Jones stole his second ball and dished an assist to Wilbekin, who knocked back-to-back transition triples leading to a Guy Goodes timeout, 35:31. Gutt shot in a critical three-pointer, and Mitchell, with two outstanding plays, stopped Maccabi's stretch and tied the game at 38.
But the Yellow & Blue closed out the quarter with a 6:0 run as Wilbekin connected a step-back mid-range jumper and Zizic back-to-back points inside, including a fastbreak slam giving them a 44:38 advantage halftime.
Zoosman buried three shots from behind the arc to open the second half, but Koulechov answered, scoring 11 consecutive points, including three triples keeping Rishon in the thick of things, 53:49.
The three-point showdown resumed as Wilbekin and Nimrod Tishman exchanged shots from deep. Zizic dished a beautiful assist to Casspi, who slammed it down, and DiBartolomeo ramped up the margin to double digits to close out the third quarter, 65:55.
Mitchell and Koulechov scored four consecutive points reducing Maccabi's margin down to 6. Still, DiBartolomeo and Casspi knocked down big three's, recapturing a double-digit advantage as Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad locked down defensively, stopping Rishon scoreless for over 2:30 minutes, 75:63.
The Yellow & Blue sealed the deal as Zoosman grabbed an offensive board, which led to Wilbekin finding Zizic for a three-point possession. Caloiaro hit a corner three, and Wilbekin's final dagger led to Maccabi lifting their 45th Israeli State Cup after an 86:69 victory.