Only once, in December 2001, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv managed to beat Efes Pilsen in Istanbul. Tonight they were very close of repeating that but at the end of a dramatic & exciting game, the Turks won 90-88. After day four of the Regular Season of th Euroleague, Maccabi is at 2-2.
In spite of a mediocre performance by Anthony Parker & Nikola Vujcic, Maccabi were strongly in the game for 40 minutes. They led 23-20 at the end of the first quarter, mainly through Maceo Baston who scored 12 pts. Maccabi took a 42-32 lead in the second period and 46-41 at half time. By then Efes Pilsen has already scored 9 three pointers (from 21 attempted).
Maccabi were 53-48 up but then the home team ran 16-6 to take a 66-59 lead. Maccabi came back and at the end of the third EP lead 68-66. Solomon was Maccabi`s hero in the final period scoring 13 pts that enabled his team to stay close. But with 38 seconds to go, he committed an offensive foul with Efes Pilsen leading 87-85. Kaya Peker score to free throws to make it 89-85. Solomon replied with two free throws and Domercant added one more point to the home team (90-87). Popovic fouled Solomon with 5.6 seconds to go. Will scored the first and missed the second. With 2.2 seconds to go Maccabi had a final chance to win but Parker missed a three pointer.
The Turks eventually had 11 three pointers from 29 (38%). Maccabi made only 7 three pointers but from 13 (58%). Maccabi were also more accurate from the free throws line (70% to 48%).EP had a 35-30 advantage in rebounds and had only 6 turnovers to Maccabi 12.
Two Maccabi players excelled tonight. Maceo Baston, doubtful because of an injured ankle until just before the game, played 32 minutes, scored 29 pts, pulled down 9 rbds and blocked 4 shots. Will Solomon, who wanted so much to beat the team he played for last season, played 35 minutes, scored 28 pts (5-8 for three), pulled down 3 rbds, made 1 assist and 1 steal.
Other Maccabi scorers: Parker 11, Vujcic 9, Burstein 8, Sharp 3.
Top scorers for Efes Pilsen: Popovic 21, Domercant 19, Peker 17. Prkacin 13 pts.