By Amy Samin
Four days before the start of the Euroleague Top 16, Maccabi trounced
Maccabi finished the game with an imposing 27 assists versus only six by the host team, and didn’t let up the pressure the whole game.
Maccabi started the game with Carlos Arroyo, Brown, Casspi, Eliyahu and Fischer.
Deron Washington, Luis Flores, Curtis Withers, Lior Lifshitz and Chris Watson were the starting five for host team
Maccabi took charge of the game from the opening minutes, when Maccabi fans were thrilled by the Casspiyahu show, with the two starters taking turns sending each other stunning assists for points.
Two three-pointers by Brown added to the fun, bringing the score to 16 – minutes of play in the first quarter.
Eliyahu scored at will under Holon’s basket, keeping Maccabi’s lead in double digits; with two and a half minutes left in the period, Maccabi led 25 – 13.
Tal Burstein came off the bench like a whirlwind, scoring 5 straight points, while
Two easy dunks by Casspi gave Maccabi a little breathing room, but with Fischer on the bench with two fouls, the Maccabi defense allowed a slew of Holon baskets from the paint on the way to a score of 35 – 29 four and a half minutes into the game.
Shortly before the halftime break, Maccabi came alive, while
Brown, who had a fantastic game, supplied a bucket and a shot from outside the arc, and free throws by Casspi closed out the half with the score 47 – 33, Maccabi.
Maccabi continued to dominate at the start of the second half, with Fischer back on the court to supply dunks and take a dubious third foul charge.
Eliyahu and Brown continued to show their usual skill, and three minutes into the third quarter Maccabi led 54 – 35.
The home team came alive with 3 three-pointers, which were answered by a follow-dunk by Fischer and a three-pointer by Burstein which took Maccabi to a 63 – 48 lead with three minutes left in the period.
Maccabi stayed strong on offense, leaving
A three-pointer by Arroyo and a handsome assist by Casspi to Fischer strengthened Maccabi’s advantage, and showed the home team that their salvation was not at hand, causing
Eliyahu went on a 7 point scoring run, bringing the score to 75 – 60, Maccabi, with four minutes left in the game.
Even Maccabi junior team player Anton Shoutvin got some playing time, scoring his first point in the big leagues on a free throw.
Maccabi: Eliyahu 21 points (10/11 from the field), 5 assists; Arroyo 14 points; Casspi 13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists; Fischer 12 points, 11 rebounds; Brown 11 points, 6 assists; Burstein 10 points; Green 6 points; Simmons 3 points; Shoutvin 1 point.
Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon summed up the victory: “If it’s up to us, we need to do it easy.
They put up a fight until the end, and fought well.
We led the whole game, but we need to solve our rebound problem and our turnovers weren’t good.
Any time you allow your opponent more than 11 offensive rebounds, you’re giving them a gift.
We need to guard them better.”
Omri Casspi added, “I’m glad we made the game easy. Thursday will be a whole different story; it’s going to be a tough game, because Alba (
We’ll play our game in order to win.”