With a record of 6:1 in the domestic competition, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv played against Ness Ziona on the road wanting to continue their positive momentum. Maccabi was the better team at the first half but the oranges managed to stay lose to the reigning champs. The locals completed the comeback in the third and even had a 78:70 lead with under two minutes remaining in the game. A poised Macca remained completed an impressive comeback, but ended up falling short to a buzzer beating three 83:81. Maccabi will continue their hectic week on Tuesday where they will face Herzelia.
Coach Sfairopoulos' starting five: Black, John-Di, Cohen, Kane and Caloiaro. The locals were the first to score as they took the early 4:0 lead. Black sparked a 7:0 run for Maccabi who took the 4:7 lead. Kane connected with John-Di to keep Maccabi ahead (7:11), Ness Ziona tied the game but O'Bryant scored from distance to Keep Maccabi ahead 15:18. Cook made both free throws to stay close to the visitors with the first quarter coming to an end (17:18).
Roll and Deni scored back to back threes at the beginning of the second quarter to take the 17:24 lead but Ness Ziona reacted with a 6:0 run to make it a one point game again. Maccabi completed a 7:0 to increase their lead to 28:36, but Cook and Gutt reacted from distance forcing coach Sfairopoulos to call for a timeout with just under three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Tyus started reacting for Maccabi but Gutt scored from distance again to make it 37:39. Kane and Caloiaro turned great defense into instant offense as they beat the buzzer taking the 37:41 lead at halftime.
Cook scored at the beginning of the third but Maccabi went on a 5:0 run (39:46). Gutt and Brown scored back to back threes to close to within a striking distance. Both teams traded blows with the locals being the ones to capitalize as they took the 54:50 lead forcing coach Sfairopoulos to call for a timeout. Cook increased Ness Ziona's lead to 57:50; Zoosman and John-Di started reacting for Maccabi who managed to trim Ness Ziona's lead to 60:57. John-Di made a one point game but Ness Ziona managed to beat the buzzer having the 64:61 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Zoosman scored at the beginning of the fourth, but the locals reacted as they stayed ahead 69:66. Brown increased the oranges' lead to 73:68, Johnny reacted but Cook sealed a 5:0 run for the home side forcing Coach Sfairopoulos to call for a timeout with the scoreboard showing 78:70. Zoosman's tremendous hustle resulted with Roll scoring from distance to keep Maccabi in the game (78:74) with under two minutes remaining in the game. Kane and John-Di tied the game. With 33.5 seconds remaining in the game Cook was fouled and made both of his free throws putting the locals ahead 80:78. John-Di hit a dagger from a distance to put Maccabi ahead 80:81 but Cook reacted from downtown to Give Ness Ziona the 83:81 win.