By Amy Samin
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv lost on the road to Maccabi Ashdod/Be'er Tuvia in round 16 of the Israeli Winner Sal League. Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi's scorers with 15 points. Guy Pnini (14 points), Itay Segev (13 points), and Taylor Rochestie (12 points) were also standouts.
Maccabi's starters were Brian Randle, Guy Pnini, Sylven Landesberg, Taylor Rochestie, and Trevor Mbakwe. The hosts got off to a great start and ran to 13-2 in the first two and a half minutes, while Maccabi had no fewer than four turnovers. Yogev Ohayon, Pnini, and Dagan Yivzori got the visitors into the game, but Ashdod continued to score from downtown and reopened a double digit lead. Two huge dunks by Itay Segev ended the quarter with Maccabi trailing 26-20.
Maccabi had a hard time stopping Swann and Thomas, who increased Ashdod's lead to 33-23 two minutes into the second period. Five straight points by Pnini made it 34-28, but the home team continued to play well and reopened their lead, 38-28 at the halfway mark. Pnini, Landesberg, Rochestie, and Segev gave Maccabi their first lead since the first minute of the game, but a three pointer by Ashdod sent the teams into the break with the hosts up 50-48.
Points from downtown by Rochestie gave Maccabi back the lead, but Ashdod quickly took back control of the game and ran to 59-53. Yivzori and Segev responded and made it a three point game, 61-58 halfway through the period, but Ashdod once again opened a ten point lead. With forty seconds left in the quarter, Coach Tabak was ejected from the game by the referees, and the period ended with Ashdod holding a 77-63 lead.
Maccabi couldn't find their rhythm at the start of the fourth quarter, and the home team's lead swelled to 84-66 at the five minute mark. Landesberg and Rochestie scored from outside the arc, and Segev added another dunk, stopping Ashdod's run and making it a six point game, 84-78 with two minutes left in the game. But the home team regained control and soon reopened their lead. Pnini and Ohayon sank threes but it was too late, and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv lost to Maccabi Ashdod 96-86.