By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv kicked off the third round of the Israeli Winner Sal League with an 86-68 victory over Hapoel Eilat at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. Devin Smith led all scorers with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Brian Randle added 14 points, Alex Tyus contributed 13 points and 4 blocks, and Jeremy Pargo scored 11 points.
Starters for Maccabi were Jake Cohen, Devin Smith, Jeremy Pargo, Yogev Ohayon, and Sofo Schortsanitis. The start of the game was close; Smith from downtown and Pargo in the paint scored for Maccabi, but the visitors responded and the score was tied at 5 after four minutes. Randle and Alex Tyus locked down the paint with a series of blocks, and together with Smith and Pargo put Maccabi up by seven, 14-7 halfway through the period. Nissim scored five straight to put Eilat back in the picture, but another triple by Smith and points in the paint by Pargo gave Maccabi a double digit lead. A baseline drive to the basket by Arad Harari finished up the period with Maccabi enjoying a 27-14 lead.
Joe Alexander and Randle scored from the foul line to increase Maccabi's lead as the second quarter got underway. Eilat tried to get back into the game, but each time Maccabi responded, including points by Cohen (assist Randle) and Randle and a coast to coast drive by Ohayon that made it 39-21 at the halfway mark in the period. Smith added a trey on the right wing and Cohen scored from mid-range, and Eilat's attempts to catch up were foiled by a pair of buckets from Smith, making it 48-27 going into the halftime break.
The visitors scored first in the second half, but a one handed slam by Randle and a dunk and one by Tyus made it 55-33 after three minutes. Ohayon delivered from outside the arc, and a smooth play by Randle - Ohayon - Tyus ended in a flying two handed slam that put Maccabi up 62-36 halfway through the quarter. The visitors continued to miss their shots, while Tyus added a string of dunks and an assist to Alexander in the left corner to extend Maccabi's lead to 70-44 heading into the final period.
Maccabi lowered the intensity in the final period, with Cohen, Sofo, and Alexander supplying the points for the home team. The visitors took advantage of the slower pace and finally succeeded in finding the basket. In the end, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Eilat 86-68.