Since November 29, 2004, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv have not lost in the Isralei Syper League. Then it was at the NOKIA Arena vs Maccabi Rishon Letsion. This evening it was Rishon once more that caught Maccabi off guard and won in Gan Nahum 85-78.
Coach Pini Gershon could have use all the excuses in the world. He had to play without Kirk Penney, Ja,ie Arnold and the onjyred Tal Burstein. He used only seven players with the two bench players, Sharon Shason & Yaniv Green, scoring only 6 pts.
But Gershon admitted that Rishon deserved to win because they were the better team on the night. He also saw Rishon pulldown 15 offensive rbds and his team having 17 TO.
At the end of the first quarter Maccabi led 23-16 and were 31-23 in the second. Then Guy Goodes team ran 11-0, took a 34-31 lead and after a 28-13 second period, led 44-36. This was increased to 46-36 before two three pointers by Derrick Sharp statrted a great Maccabi comeback. Led by Will Solomon Maccabi closed the gap to 61-62 and at the end of the period 65—63 for Rishon.
Now it looked like the usual story in Maccabi’s League games. But not tonight. Maccabi chased Rishon but never caught up with them and suffered their first loss of the season.
A disappointing performance by Maccabi’s big men Nikola Vujcic & Maceo Baston who together scored 15 pts & pulled down 8 rbds.
Anthony Parker was not at his best although he scored 15 pts (42% FG) and pulled down 10 rbds. Only Will Solomon & Derrick Sharp, who played the full 40 minutes, kept Maccabi in the game. Solomon scored 26 pts in 60% FG, dished out 3 assists and made 5 stls. Sharp scored 16 pts (4-8 for three) and made 2 assists.
Omar Snead was Rishon’s top player with 24 pts, 9 rbds & 3 assists.