In last week’s loss in Herzliya, we were critical over Maccabi’s offense who could only score 70 points. Tonight, in Kfar Blum, the team scored 92 pts. But the defense, which held Olympiacos on an average of 72 pts in the last ten days, conceded 107 at Kfar Blum.
A loss of tension after qualifying to the Final Four? Fatigue? Ceratinly. But still this is no excuse for the 31 pts conceded in the final period.
Pini Gershon left out Maceo Baston & Kirk Penney. Maccabi led 20-19 but then came a 12-0 run by the horst and at the end of the first quarter they led 33-22. Inspired by the brilliant Lior Liphshitz, Galil Elton opebed a 17 pts lead (47-30) wuth 4:46 min. left in the second period. Jamie Arnold, in an excellent game (18 pts in the first half,), ebabled Maccabi to end the half only 9 pts down (44-53).
It was a different Maccabi at the start of the third period. A tight defense and some fast breaks leveled the score at 59-59. Three successive three pointers by Sharp, Shason & Solomo and Maccabi were 68-63 up at the end of a 24-10 run. This run was achieved whilst the exhausted Parker rested on the bench. He returb=ned and saw Galil go on a 10-2 run to end the third period with a 76-70 lead.
Nikola Vujcic opened the final period on a three points play (76-73). But Oded Katash players felt it was their night and they poured ponts from all over the place. Parker was the only player to keep Maccabi in the game with 9 pts in less than two minutes. In the final three minutes the home player went on a 10-3 run for a final score of 107-92.
For Katash it was his first win over his home team. Six years ago, also in Passover, he led Panathinaikos to a win over Maccabi in the final of the Final Four in Thessaloniki.
Maccabi main problems were in turnovers (21) and rebounds (22-28) with Galil Elyon pulling down 12 offensive rebounds.
But the main difference was the contribution of Israeli born players. Galil got 54 points from Liphshitz (23), Marko (13), Eliyahu (12) & Ohayon (6) whilst Maccabi got 8 pts from Shason, Burstein & Green.
Other Maccabi scorers: Arnold 28, Vujcic 15, Sharp 14 (4-4 for three), Solomon 14, Parker 13 pts.
Top scorers for Galil Elyon: Liphshitz 23, Ensonwo 19, Bratic 13, Bozov 13 pts.