Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered its first home Euroleague defeat since December 2005, 79-68 to Tau Vitoria in their first Top 16 Group D game at Nokia Arena.
Lior Eliyahu led Maccabi with 17 points and Nikola Vujcic was 2 assists short of a triple-double (12 points' 10 rebounds and 8 assists) but that wasn't enough against a solid team that scored 12 three-pointers.
Maccabi was unable to slow down the visitors' offense at the start of the game, with Rakocevic especially unstoppable – 17 points including 4 3's in the first 10 minutes. Maccabi tightened its defense in the second quarter and kept Tau on 8 points. five straight points by Jamie Arnold as the half came to a close put Maccabi within one point (38-37) at halftime.
Sharp's three at the beginning of the second half was a sign of things to come, as Tel Aviv opened up a comfortable lead midway through the third quarter.
However, the Spaniards broke out of their slump in the second half of the period and a 14-4 run helped them regain the lead and take a three-point cushion (57-54) into the final 10 minutes. Maccabi lost its head and the game in the last quarter. Tau played great team basketball and some key three pointers gave the Spaniards the important away win 79-68. 10,500 fans that painted the arena in yellow went home very sad.
Maccabi: Eliyahu 17, Burstein 13, Vujcic 12, Sharp 9, Arnold 7, Jeretin 5, Jasaitis 2, Felix 2, Green 1.
Tau: Rakocevic 19, Erdogan 14, Splitter 12, House 9, Scola 8, Prigioni 7, Peker 5, Arslan 3, Vidal 2.