By Amy Samin
With 20 points and 6 assists, David Logan led Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv to victory, this time over Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem, 88-82, in the season opener of the Winner-Sal League. Lior Eliyahu (6 rebounds), Yogev Ohayon and Giorgi Shermadini contributed 12 points each.
Starters for Maccabi were Shawn James, Ricky Hickman, Yogev Ohayon, Malcolm Thomas and team captain Guy Pnini. Jerusalem jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the early minutes of the quarter, but layups by Ohayon and Thomas quickly put Maccabi back in the game. Shots from downtown didn't fall for either team until Hickman delivered from the right wing, making it 12-9. Hickman stayed in high gear, with a steal plus coast to coast dunk followed a layup and 1 that tied the score at 16 with just over three and a half minutes left in the period. Maccabi took the lead briefly off a layup by David Logan, but Jerusalem soon grabbed it back. The lead changed hands a couple of times, but a dish by Moran Roth to Logan for the slam ended the quarter with Maccabi leading 24-23.
The second period got underway with a long two by Sylven Landesberg. Lior Eliyahu added one of his classic floaters, and a bomb by Logan on the left wing made it 31-25 Maccabi after just over a minute of action. Maccabi seemed to find their groove, moving the ball well and playing tough defense, while Thomas showed how well he fits into Maccabi's system, with back to back slams off of dimes from Logan (alley oop) and Landesberg (off the defensive rebound) that put Maccabi up 37-25 three minutes into the period. Landesberg and Thomas continued to display their skills with a steal, a putback and a floater that made it 45-33 just past the halfway mark. Maccabi kept the flow going through the end of the period, and the teams went into the halftime break with Maccabi leading 54-40.
Both teams looked sloppy at the start of the third quarter, but Jerusalem recovered first, pulling within ten in the first two minutes. A three pointer by Logan kept the distance until Jerusalem managed to cut the deficit in half, 59-54 with four and a half minutes left in the period. Jerusalem continued to whittle away at the gap until with two and a half minutes remaining in the period the score was tied at 62. James made a key interception under the basket to stop Jerusalem from taking the lead, and points from the foul line and a layup by Logan made it 66-62. Jerusalem didn't give up, though, scoring a three pointer at the buzzer to end the quarter with Maccabi up by one, 66-65.
James scored first for Maccabi in the fourth quarter off an assist by Eliyahu. Logan added another three to his collection, scoring from the right wing to make it 71-65 after a minute and a half of play. Tough defense by Maccabi led to turnovers by Jerusalem, including a steal leading to a dunk by Eliyahu to make it a ten point game again, 75-65. Once again Jerusalem brought the difference back down to five, then three before a fake shot turned assist by Hickman to Shermadini for the dunk made it 79-74 with four minutes left in the game. The visitors managed to come within one point before points by Eliyahu, Shermadini and Ohyaon set the score at 85-78 with less than a minute remaining. Free throws wrapped things up, and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv came away with an 88-82 victory over Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in week 1 of the Winner-Sal League.
David Blatt: "We saw a good game tonight. One half we were very dominant, but we lost the opportunity to take a bigger lead, and Jerusalem gave a great third quarter. The good news is we knew how to come back from that."
Maccabi: Logan 20 points, 6 assists; Eliyahu 12 points, 6 rebounds; Ohayon 12 points; Shermadini 12 points; Hickman 9 points, 4 assists; Thomas 8 points; James 6 points; Landesberg 6 points; Pnini 3 points.