By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv claimed another victory on the road in the Israeli Winner Sal League, 75-66 over Hapoel Eilat. Yogev Ohayon, who passed the 2,000 career points mark, scored 23 points (4 of 5 from three point range) and took 9 rebounds. Sylven Landesberg added 14 points, Tyrese Rice contributed 13 points, and Sofo Schortsanitis finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Newly-signed center Andrija ?i?i? played his first minutes in a Maccabi uniform.
Maccabi's starters were Ricky Hickman, Joe Ingles, Guy Pnini, Yogev Ohayon, and Sofo Schortsanitis. Maccabi opened the game with four straight three pointers, two apiece for Ohayon and Ingles that made it 12-6 after four minutes. Newly-acquired center Andrija ?i?i? came in for Sofo and registered his first minutes with Maccabi, but hosts Eilat woke up and went on a scoring run that put them in the lead, 18-17 as the period ended.
Sofo and Hickman combined to put Maccabi up 22-18 early in the second quarter, but the pace slowed down and neither team scored for a couple of minutes. Once again the home team put together a string of baskets that gave them a five point lead, 27-22 with four minutes left in the period. Ohayon added more points, and Sylven Landesberg from the foul line tied the score at 27, then added two straight treys (both assists by Sofo) that put Maccabi 35-29 as the teams went into the halftime break.
Eilat combined tough defense with a 10-2 scoring run to take a 39-37 lead after two and a half minutes. Ohayon and David Blu scored for Maccabi, but the hosts put together another run and grabbed a 46-40 lead just past the halfway mark in the period. A slick behind the back pass by Sofo led to points by Ohayon under the basket, but Eilat continued to build up their lead, which had reached 54-45 with a minute left in the period. Tyrese Rice and Ohayon scored to chip away at the deficit, and Pnini added a Hail Mary shot from close to half court at the buzzer that put Maccabi within two, 54-52 at the end of the period.
The fourth quarter opened with a drive up the middle by Rice and a fourth three pointer for Ohayon to put Maccabi back on top, 57-54. Points from Pnini and Rice kept Maccabi comfortably ahead, and buckets from outside the arc by Landesberg and Rice put the lead at nine with three and a half minutes on the clock. Eilat seemed to lose the will to fight, and more points from Rice wrapped up a 75-66 victory for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv over Hapoel Fattal Eilat.