By Amy Samin
Guy Pnini, David Bluthenthal, Alan Anderson, Stephane Lasme and Chuck Eidson started the game for Maccabi, while Rishon’s starters were Larry O’Bannon, Meir Tapiro, Aaron McGhee, Raz Zehavian and Rod Grizzard.
Bluthenthal and Eidson both nailed threes from the same spot to give Maccabi an early lead in the first quarter, 8 – minutes.
But Rishon Lezion, led by O’Bannon, fought to stay in the game.
A dunk by
Rishon tightened up their defense and went on a 7 – 0 scoring run, taking a 16 – 15 lead with two and a half minutes left in the quarter.
Maccabi continued to play well at the start of the second quarter.
A shot from outside the arc by Eidson put the score at 30 – 21 after a minute of play.
Avi Ben Chimol responded with a three of his own to keep Rishon in the game.
Limonad and Pnini scored in the paint for Maccabi, then Doron Perkins spun his way to the basket to make it 37 – 26 three and a half minutes into the period.
McGhee and O’Bannon kept things alive for Rishon, while Fish added a mid-range jumper and a dunk to keep Maccabi’s lead at nine, 41 – 32 just past the halfway mark in the period.
A bucket by Andrew Wisniewski at the buzzer sent the teams into halftime with Maccabi in the lead, 47 – 36.
The second half got underway with a three pointer by Bluthenthal from the top of the arc, which was joined shortly thereafter by one from Eidson.
McGhee also nailed one from downtown for the visitors, putting the score at 55 – 41 Maccabi after three and a half minutes.
Eidson drained another three, and Perkins added a trey of his own, giving Maccabi a 61 – 47 lead with four minutes left in the period.
The rest of the points in the period were scored from inside the arc, including several trips to the free throw line.
An in-your-face dunk by Green closed out the period with Maccabi leading 74 – 59.
The home team continued to dominate in the final period, including another jumper by Fischer and four straight points by Lasme, making it 87 – 66 at the halfway mark.
Fischer threw down a dunk off an assist from Wiz to give Maccabi a twenty point lead, 89 – 69.
The second half of the quarter saw Maccabi outscore Rishon 16 – 5, thanks in part to Limonad who won MVP honors for his excellent performance.
When time ran out the score showed Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 105, Rishon Lezion 74.
Maccabi: Limonad 20 points (7 of 7 from 2 point range); Eidson 18 points, 6 rebounds; Lasme 14 points; Fischer 11 points; Anderson 10 points; Perkins 8 points,
6 assists; Bluthenthal and Wisniewski 6 points each; Sharp and Pnini 5 points each; Green 2 points.
Rishon Lezion: O’Bannon 21 points; McGhee 19 points; Grizzard 14 points; Tapiro 10 points; Lev 4 points; Ben Chimol and Orland 3 points each.
After the game, Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon had this to say: “This wasn’t good preparation for Wednesday’s game.
I had the chance to do something I haven’t tried since the start of the season.
As time goes on, we may need to do it again, so we’ve got it in reserve.
Last year Eidson played at point guard, and also today.
The Cup victory put us in natural suspense, and usually after such a thing there’s deterioration, and I hope it’s one that leads to improvement.
Tomorrow and the next day we need to get stronger, and I hope that we’ll be more focused in the game against Pilsen.
They’re aware of the importance of the coming games in
Game MVP Raviv Limonad said, “It was a good game for me and for the team. I’m happy we were able to come back from the euphoria of winning the Cup and win in a league game.
We’ve got an important game against Pilsen later this week and we need to stay grounded.
It’s always fun to win.
With Maccabi things sometimes seem to be easier.
It’s not my business what happens on the other side.
We came and fought hard as if it were the Cup final.
I think that the key in games here is the huge energy from the crowd, and that we’re very aggressive.
We need to implement both of those things in our away games in the Euroleague.
This crowd is worth ten points every game.
But maybe because it’s a hostile crowd in