In nine games since 1988, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv were not beaten by a Yugoslav team. It was very important for David Blatt’s players to add a tenth victory vs Buducnost to strengthen their bid for fifth place in Group B and make another step towards the “Top 16”.
It did not look good in the first half when the Montenegrian team, who lost all hope to qualify, played relaxed basketball, led 24-22 at the end of the first quarter and later 48-39 and went to the break 48-42 up.
Blatt opened the second half with Besok & Udrih and they made the change. The home team still led 51-42 but Maccabi ran 12-2 and took a 54-53 lead which was increased to 62-57. Buducnost came back with a 10-3 run and led 67-65 at the end of the third. Maccabi started the final period with a 10-0 run and with a dominant Vujcic (10 pts in the final quarter), won the game 89-80.
In the other games in Group B, Zalgiris had no problems at home vs TAU Vitoria 88-67 who welcomed back Elmer Bennett for his first game of the season. A great drama in Ljubljana where Montepaschi Siena were desperate for a win vs Union Olimpija who have already made sure of a place in the Top 16. The Italians came back from 83-91 down to even the score At 91-91. But the Sloveinans had the final say with a 94-92 win. Panathinaikos, without the injured McDonald, won in Malaga 75-69.