Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv took a 1:0 series lead in the Israeli "Winner" League quarterfinals after an exciting 67:66 win over the Reds. The Yellow & Blue fought their way out of a 15 point deficit with a 20:10 fourth-quarter finish as Yovel Zoosman was superb on both ends of the court finishing the night with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin, Deni Avdija, and Jake Cohen each scored 10 points. Tuesday, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad head out to Shlomo Group Arena for Game 2 of the series.
"Unfortunately, we weren't ready, but we showed our character in the last quarter, allowing them to score only 10 points, and I think that was the key", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos at the post-game press conference. "We changed the momentum of the game from our good defense, and then offensively, we scored some open shots".
"They risked the outside shooting, pressing the paint as they didn't allow us to score from inside, but we had a lot of open shots we've missed that made us more nervous and inpatient defensively. We slowly came back from 15 points down, we showed our character, and for that, I'm satisfied".
"If you summarize the game in a word, it was a mess, Hapoel disordered our game. At first, we didn't know how to handle it, but in the fourth quarter, we regained our composure, and shots started to fall in", Told Yovel Zoosman after the win. "In the end, what matters is the final score, and I'm happy we won this game. We know what we're worth, we just didn't come ready enough mentally, but I'm sure we will come better in the next game".