Pini Gershon & Mony Fanan were not satisfied at the end of the game vs Efes Pilsen won 88-81 by Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv. Mony is convinced that Maccabi should have won by a bigger margin. Pini can not accept that a team with an average of 63 pts on the road, was allowed to score 81 pts in Tel Aviv. But both agree that the double goal was achieved – to win and by more than the two points loss in Istanbul in November..
Maccabi took a 25-20 lead at the end of the first quarter. But a 9-1 run by the visitors, gave them their first lead 29-28. They were dominant in offensive rbds (8 in the first half), and at half time were 45-41 up.
After the break we saw a different Maccabi. Efes Pilsen led 49-44 but then Maccabi ran 10-0, led 54-49 and 68-59 and at the end of the period 68-61.
A great defensive display by the Yellows and two spectacular blocked shots by Maceo Baston, enabled Maccabi to open 19 pts gap 82-63, But the fact that coach Gershon used only five players for most of the time, almost proved costly. The players of Oktay Mahmuti exploited the fatigue, ran 18-6 and Maccabi won by only seven points.
Maccabi players totally dominated their opponents. 60% to 45% in FG, 87% to 69% in FT, 35-28 in rebounds and 23-17 in assists. Maccabi accumulated a valuation of 125 to 79 for Efes Pilsen.
The fans voted Maceo Baston as MVP with 25 pts in 75% FG, 3 rbds & 2 bsts. But Tal Burstein got the highest index rating (28) with 12 pts (8-8 in FT), 8 rbds & 3 assits. Will Solomon had another excellent game (index rating of 27), with 22 pts in 62% FG, 8 asts, 4 rbds. Nikola Vujcic (IR of 25) scored16 pts &, pulled down 9 rbds & dished out 5 asts.
Other Maccabi scorers: Parker 11 pts, 6 rbds & 6 asts, Arnold 2 pts. Sharp played 11 minutes but did not score.
Top players for Efes Pilsen: Domercant 16, Peker 15, Prkacin 14 pts & 6 rbds, Popovic 14 pts & 5 assists.