By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has qualified for the quarterfinal of the Israeli Cup following their 83-65 victory over Maccabi Ashdod at Nokia Arena. Alex Tyus was outstanding with a 12 and 12 double and 4 blocks, and Ricky Hickman led all scorers with 17 points. David Blu scored 11 points and Yogev Ohayon contributed 10 points. Maccabi will learn who their opponent will be in the quarterfinal at the draw to be held tomorrow (Monday) at 16:30.
Maccabi's starters were Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, Yogev Ohayon, Sofo Schortsanitis and team captain Guy Pnini. Maccabi claimed an 8-1 lead off points from Pnini, Ohayon and Smith in the first three minutes of the period, but by the halfway mark Ashdod had tied the score at 10. The visitors went on to take the lead 14-11 with three minutes left in the quarter, but points by Joe Ingles and David Blu (assist Alex Tyus) put Maccabi back on top, 15-14. Ashdod responded, but points by Tyus and Tyrese Rice gave Maccabi a 19-18 lead as the period ended.
Ingles and Sofo helped Maccabi take a 26-22 lead early in the second quarter, but Sofo was called for his third foul and was subbed out. Ashdod took advantage, grabbing a 31-26 lead halfway through the period, but Blu stepped up once again with three treys that, combined with a dunk by Tyus and points from the foul line by Smith and Ohayon sent the teams into the halftime break with Maccabi leading 44-35.
Ohayon scored off a dish from Blu on the first possession of the third quarter, but the visitors didn't give up, cutting their deficit back down to single digits after three minutes, 50-42. Smith and Hickman scored from downtown but Ashdod continued to battle, pulling within six with three minutes left, 61-55. A turnaround baseline jumper by Ingles and points from the charity stripe closed out the period with Maccabi leading 67-57.
Hickman and Tyus scored early for Maccabi in the fourth quarter, but then for several minutes neither team managed to find the basket. Tyus kept Maccabi's offense alive with multiple rebounds and finally Hickman added two more three pointers to put Maccabi up by twenty, 77-57 with three and a half minutes left in the game. Jake Cohen and Ben Altit came into the game and quickly combined for six points to give Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv an 83-65 win over Maccabi Ashdod in the eighth final of the Israeli Cup competition.