And so it begins, the preseason, the excitement and the first preseason tournament of the 2018-19 campaign starting against Khimki. Spahija's squad will play in the Cyprus tournament without 7 of its roster players. Khimki managed to impose their will early in the game, but a great team effort and a Maccabi spirit erased a 17 point deficit as the yellows remained poised until the last second as they secured the 87:84 win.
Coach Spahija's starting five: Pargo, Kane, Caloiaro, Tyus and Avdija. Gill was the first to score for Khimki but Caloiaro and Avdija kept the yellows close to Khimki who capitalized thanks to Mickey (4:8). Kane and Caloiaro tied the game (11:11) with 05:20 remaining in the first quarter. Gill was very effective for the offensive end as Khimki increased their lead to 13:22. O'Bryant and Pargo finished the first quarter strong for Maccabi who trailed 21:24 at the end of the first quarter.
Monia scored to put Khimki ahead 21:26 at the beginning of the second quarter, Ray and Crocker exchanged threes (24:29) as a timeout was called. Croker made it 25:38 as the second quarter reached its halfway mark. Kane's three pointer was answered by Khimki who managed to keep Maccabi at bay (30:44). Mickey finished the first half with a thunderous dunk to put Khimki ahead 34:51.
Khimki kept their lead three minutes into the third as both teams struggled to score, Maccabi went on a 9:2 run to trim Khimki's lead to 45:54. O'Bryant free throws made it 50:56 with just over 03:30 remaining in the third. O'Bryant continued showing his offensive arsenal bringing the yellows closer to Khimki and Pargo beat the third quarter buzzer to put Maccabi within a striking distance 60:62.
Pargo and O'Bryant completed the comeback to take the 64:62 lead, Crocker scored from downtown but O'Bryant reacted with a three point play of his own as the yellows remain ahead 67:65. Kane connected with a quarterback pass by Caloiaro to increase the yellow lead to 69:65. Monia scored back to back threes to give Khimki the 74:76 lead with just under four minutes remaining. Pargo tied the game but Yakushin completed a three point play to put Khimki ahead 76:79. O'Bryant completed his second three point play to tie the game (80:80) with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
Pargo and Ray gave Maccabi the 83:80 lead with under a minute remaining in the game, Thomas kept Khimki in the game (83:82). Pargo was fouled and he made both of his free throws to put Maccabi ahead 85:82 with 16 seconds remaining in the game, Jenkins scored both of his free throws (85:84), but then a beautiful pass by O'Bryant to Avdija who slashed ended up sending Deni to the free throw line where he got the job done securing the 87:84 win.