To those who hoped that the game in Ramat Gan will be an opportunity to recover after the Euroleague loss on Thursday, this was a great disappointment. Maccabi eventually won 90-82 but it was another frustrating evening.
Maccabi played without Will Solomon & Jamie Arnold and in the first half the players looked like they have not got over Thursday outcome. The hosts, especially Jason Gardner & Itay Lev, exploited the non existent defense to open a 22-10 lead in the first quarter and 44-28 with 2:30 min to go. At half time Ramat Gan led 48-36.
The third period was a different story. Maccabi`s defense became more aggressive led by Derrick Sharp who put Gardner out of the game. Sharp was also the top man in offense with four three pointers. With 1:48 min to the end of the period, Anthony Parker gave Maccabi its first lead (61-60). Maccabi won the third 30-17 and had a 66-65 lead going into the final period. At 73-73 Kirk Penney took over and scored 8 consecutive points. Sharp`s sixth three pointer put Maccabi on 89-75 and finally an 8 points win.
Maccabi players made 10 of their 27 three pointers and 26 of 31 free throws. But they were 31-35 down in rebounds and also had 19 turnovers, mainly in the first half.
Sharp was MVP for the night with 22 pts in 37 minutes, 6-11 for three, 4-5 in FT as well as 4 asst & 3 stls. Anthony Parker played 38 minutes with 17 pts, 8 asst & 5 stls.
Other Maccabi scorers: Vujcic 14 & 5 rbds, Burstein 12, Baston 11 & 9 rbds, Penney 9, Shason 5 pts.
Top scorers for Ramat Gan: Gardner 19 pts & 8 rbds, Owojobi 18 pts & 7 rbds, Lev 11 pts, 5 rbds & 5 stls.
Nikola Vujcic was elected Super League Player of the Month for October and was presented the award by ex international player Steve Shlechter.
Photos: Noam Galai