By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv fought hard for 40 minutes, but couldn’t overcome the iron-clad defense of Regal Barcelona, and lost 71 – 57. Keith Langford was high scorer for Maccabi with 17 points; Demond Mallet added 12 points and Richard Hendrix contributed 8. Maccabi did not score a single three pointer in the game. On Saturday, the team will face Široki in an Adriatic League game at Nokia.
Maccabi’s starters were Devin Smith, David Blu, Demond Mallet, team captain Tal Burstein and Sofo Schortsanitis. The Greek center was called for two fouls in the first minute of the period and was replaced by Richard Hendrix. Barcelona scored the first points of the game shortly after, and after four minutes led 6 – 4. Mallet sank three from the charity stripe to put Maccabi on top 7 – 6, but Fran Vazquez soon responded. Points by Hendrix (assist Mallet) gave Maccabi back the lead, 9 – 8 with just over three minutes left in the period. Two straight layups by Keith Langford and a steal + coast to coast by Yogev Ohayon made it 15 – 8 with a minute and a half remaining. Four more points by Langford finished the period with Maccabi up 19 – 12.
Barcelona opened strong in the second quarter with points by Juan Carlos Navarro and Joe Ingles and retook the lead 20 – 19. Points by Mallet were answered by Navarro and Ingles, but a layup by Sofo put Maccabi within one, 24 – 23 with just over four minutes left on the clock. Two from the foul line by Sofo gave Maccabi back the lead but Erazem Lorbek put it back in the Spaniards’ hands, 27 – 25 with two minutes left. A steal and full-court layup by Theo Papaloukas made it 29 – 27, Maccabi, but the period ended with points by Vasquez that left the score tied at 29 – 29 as the teams went into the halftime break.
Hendrix put Maccabi up by two at the start of the third quarter, but Barcelona tied, then took the lead soon after. Langford and Hendrix scored to make it 35 – 33 Maccabi after two and a half minutes, but Ingles tied things up again. The score continued to seesaw until the end of the period, when a layup by former Maccabi player Chuck Eidson put the visitors up 44 – 42.
Maccabi managed to tie the score at 47 with a slam by Hendrix (assist Ohayon) two minutes into the final quarter. Ohayon’s stop and pop put Maccabi up by two again, but Ingles quickly tied things up again. Kosta Perovic scored the basket that put Barcelona up for good with six minutes left in the game, 53 – 51. The remainder of the period was dominated by Barcelona, and by Lorbek in particular; and in the end Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv lost 71 – 57 to Regal Barcelona, taking their Top 16 record to 1 and 1.
Maccabi: Langford 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Mallet 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists; Hendrix 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block; Blu 6 points2 rebounds; Ohayon 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist; Schortsanitis 4 points, 5 rebounds; Smith 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block; Papaloukas 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist.
Barcelona: Lorbek 18 points; Vazquez 14 points; Ingles 13 points.