By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Cedevita Zagreb 87 – 77 and claimed the title of 2012 Adriatic League Champions. Keith Langford (21 points) was chosen MVP. Richard Hendrix and David Blu contributed 16 and 13 points, respectively. Yogev Ohayon finished with 7 assists.
Maccabi’s starters were Keith Langford, Devin Smith, Lior Eliyahu, Richard Hendrix and Yogev Ohayon. Smith lit up the scoreboard with a three from the left wing, and Eliyahu and Hendrix soon followed. Cedevita’s first points came two and a half minutes into the period, and were soon answered by a stop and pop from the tireless Langford. A three pointer from Dontaye Draper narrowed the gap for Cedevita, but Maccabi went on a mini scoring run off points by Hendrix, Eliyahu and Langford and extended their lead to double digits near the halfway mark in the period, 15 – 5. The second half of the quarter was equally one-sided, as both Smith and Langford scored from downtown off dimes from Ohayon and Eliyahu added a pair of layups. The period ended with Maccabi leading 27 – 11.
Five straight points by Draper early in the second quarter helped Cedevita narrow the gap slightly, 29 – 16 after two and a half minutes. The pace slowed down considerably, with a dunk by Hendrix (assist number 6 by Ohayon) at the five minute mark being the next points scored. The teams traded points for most of the rest of the period, with Cedevita scoring mostly from the charity stripe. The half ended with the score 39 – 23.
The second half opened with a layup (assist Smith), a dunk (assist Eliyahu), and a steal by Hendrix to make it 43 – 25. A hook shot by Ohayon extended Maccabi’s lead to twenty, 45 – 25 after two minutes. Guy Pnini added points from outside the arc, but Chris Warren responded with three points of his own for Cedevita. Langford and David Blu scored in the paint, but Warren continued his one man scoring run (he scored 16 in the third quarter alone) to keep Cedevita in the game. Pnini added another trey as did Blu, whose every move was accompanied by nearly 11,000 fans singing “David stay.” The period ended with points from Langford, 64 – 47.
Hendrix also inaugurated the final quarter with a one-handed dunk off a dish by Smith. Chris Owens of Cedevita exchanged threes with Smith, and Langford added one of his gravity-defying shots (assist Blu); 71 – 52 Maccabi after two minutes. Hendrix threw down another dunk and Blu scored from the top of the arc. Maccabi seemed to ease off the gas in the second half of the period, allowing Cedevita a 10 – 0 scoring run, but two layups by Theo Papaloukas and a third three pointer by Blu cut off any hopes for a last-ditch comeback, and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv became the 2012 Adriatic League Champions after defeating Cedevita Zagreb 87 – 77.
Maccabi: Langford 21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist, 1 block; Hendrix 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal; Blu 13 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist; Smith 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists; Eliyahu 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists; Pnini 6 points, 1 assist; Ohayon 6 points, 7 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds; Papaloukas 4 points, 1 rebound; Schortsanitis 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; James 1 rebound, 1 block, 1 assist; Burstein 2 rebounds, 2 assists.
Top scorers for Cedevita: Warren 24 points; Vukusic 14 points; Owens 13 points.