A stunning Sarunas Jasikevicius three pointer with 22 seconds to go brought this evening a dramatic 85-84 win to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv over Montepaschi Siena on the second day of Euroleague's Top 16.
This was Saras only three pointer of the game after 8 consecutive misses on a bad night for his with 4-19 FG. But once more he proved that he is a real winner.
Siena had two more chances to win the game. With 9 seconds to go Thornton was blocked under the board. Vanterpool made the last play but great defense by Tal Burstein made his 6take a difficult shot that missed and Maccabi scored its seventh win in a row vs Montepaschi.
The Italia champions led 14-6 at the start of the game but a 14-2 run by Maccabi gave them a 22-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. A barrage of three pointers in the second period gave Siena a 44-36 lead. But by half time Maccabi reduced the margin to one point (47-46). At the half Parker had already 20 pts in 100% FG.
The Euroleague champions had many offensive problems at the start of the third period and Siena took a 55-49 lead. But then Nikola Vujcic took over and by the end of the third Maccabi were 65-64 up.
With only 37 seconds gone in the final period, Maccabi lost Deon Thomas (fouled out). But Vujcic, who scored only 6 pts in the first half, kept Maccabi in the game. Parker was the second Maccabi player to foul out with 1:48 minute to go and Siena leading 82-78. Fourty eight seconds later Derrick Sharp fouled out. Thornton made only one point from the line an the score 84-82. And then came Saras.
Maccabi had a poor game in 3 points shots (3-17) whilst Siena made 9-23. The visitors were also superior in free throws with 21-24 whilst Maccabi made 20-26.Pini Gershon's team had a slight advantage in rebounds (40-37) and assists (19-14).
Nikola Vujcic was elected MVP with 30 pts in 62% FRG, 9 rbds & 3 ass. But Anthony Parker, although he scored only two free throws in the second half, had more impressive figures: 22 pts in 70% FG, 11 rbds & 8 assists. This gave him an Index Rating of 40 and he is Euroleague's MVP of the week for the fifth time this season.