On the eve of the game vs Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. Maccabi TA coach Pini Gershon declared that there is never an easy game in Malha. And he was right. Maccabi won in a dramatic finish 95-92 but the hosts deserve a lot of praise.
Jerusalem played without two of their key players, Kimani Freeind and Ido Kozikato, both injured. Maccabi missed Yotam Halperin (sick) and Nestoras Kommatos (sat out the game as the fifth foreigner). Nikola Vujcic made his comeback from injury but played only a few minutes in the first half.
Jerusalem won the first quarter 27-21 (Parker & Saras did not score a point). At half time scores were even at 42-42.
Maccabi had its first lead at the start of the third quarter (44-42), increase it to 62-56 and led 66-63 at the end of the period. With seven minutes to go the Euroleague Champions opened a 12 points lead (82-70). But then came a 7-0 by the ULEB Cup holders. Maccabi's reply was a three pointer by Parker, 4 pts by Shelef & 2 by Thomas to make it 91-80. Then Doron Sheffer came into action and the lead was cut to one point (91-90). Parker & Thomas connected in free throws and so did Sheffer with the final score 95-92.
Maccabi had a slight advantage in rebounds (39-33), but made only 70% in FT and had 13 turnovers.
Maccabi leading players: Parker 19 pts & 9 rbds, Sharp 17 pts (3-5 for three) & Thomas 14 pts & 8 rbds.
For Jerusalem: Avery 30 pts (4-9 forr three), Sheffer 18 pts, 8 rbds & 4 ass. Yoni Nir, last season with Maccabi Juniors, played 10 minutes, scored 9 pts & pulled down 3 rebounds.