Two minutes into the final period, Maccabi Rishon Letsion led 68-53 exploiting Maccabi`s weakness still under the heavy disappointment of the Euroleague Final on Sunday. Maccabi also lost Nikola Vujcic, one of the only players to perform tonight, with a hand injury. Young Omri Casspi was called in and took a major part in a 12-1 run which saw Maccabi cut the deficit to 69-65, with 4:20 min. to go. But two amazing three pointers by Omar Sneed and at the other hand an offensive foul by Anthony Parker, prevented Maccabi to overturn the score. It all resulted in Rishon`s second win of the season over the Super League champions.
Once more it was proved that Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv can not win when scoring only 70 points, turning the ball over 18 times and allowing the opponents to pull down 17 offensive rebounds. The hosts connected on 10 three pointers in 45% (Maccabi 6 on 31%) and were 38-30 on rebounds. Maccabi had the edge in 2pts (56% t0 46%) and FT (76% to 54%).
Rishon Letsion led in all four quarters: 20-19, 23-20, 20-14 & 18-17.
Only two of Maccabi players gave worthy performances. Nikola Vujcic played 29 minutes, scored 17 pts in 64% FG and 2-2 in FT, pulled down 5 rbds & dished out 2 asts. Tal Burstein played 40 min with 16 pts in 55% FG, 5-5 in FT, 3 rbds, 4 asts & 5 steals.
Will Solomon played 37 min with 11 pts (1-6 for three) & 4 asts. Anthony Parker had a poor outing. In 34 min he scored only 4 pts (1-6 FG) but grabbed 8 rbds & dished out 3 asts. Other Maccabi scorers: Shason 8 pts & 4 rbds, Baston 6 pts & 6 rbds, Sharp 3, Green 2 pts.
Top scorers for Rishom: Eitan 21 pts & 6 rbds, Sneed 20 pts & 7 tbds, Mathews 13 pts.