By Amy Samin
Pini Gershon’s starting five were Alan Anderson, Yaniv Green, Stephane Lasme, Raviv Limonad and Andrew Wisniewski.
The home team went with Larry O’Bannon, Erez Marckovich, Rod Grizzard, Avi Ben Chimol and Meir Tapiro.
A quick basket by Green and a huge block by
A dunk by Lasme off an
The visitors continued to dominate on offense and shut down the opposition on defense.
A perfect alley-oop from
A time-out called by Rishon coach Effi Birenboim put some life into his players, and they held Maccabi at 16 points for much of the rest of the quarter, while finally managing to get on the board themselves.
Two three pointers from O’Bannon helped the home team close within eight, 16 – 8 with a minute and a half remaining.
David Bluthenthal and Guy Pnini, who came in off the bench, added some points for Maccabi, and a follow-up by Doron Perkins on his own missed free throw polished off the quarter, Maccabi leading 21 – 13.
Perkins continued to find the basket, with four straight points in the second quarter, taking Maccabi to a 27 – 18 lead after three minutes.
Rishon kept trying to get back in the game, but Chuck Eidson with four straight didn’t let them get close.
Lasme, who was top scorer for Maccabi in the first half, came back into the game with four minutes on the clock and increased Maccabi’s lead to double digits, 37 – 27.
Perkins continued to contribute, following up a no-go alley-oop to Lasme himself, then knocking down a fade-away jumper to put the score at 41 – 32 with about a minute and a half remaining.
A fast break pass from Wiz to Limonad for a layup at the buzzer closed out the half, with Maccabi in the lead 44 – 35.
Pnini, who along with Eidson opened the second half, had five straight points in the early minutes.
Maccabi’s tough defense held the home team back, while five straight points from Wisniewski (including a supersonic drive to the basket) and an amazing over-the-shoulder dish to Perkins under the basket for two put Maccabi up 56 – minutes.
Wisniewski and Pnini continued to shine, and Maccabi’s lead grew to 61 – 45.
A bucket plus foul for Green and points off a technical called on Birenboim put the score at 68 – 45 at the end of the third period.
The start of the fourth quarter saw Gal Mekel on the court for the first time of the night, and a second technical on Birenboim took him off the court for the rest of the night.
Rishon made an attempt at a comeback, scoring 9 – 2 against Maccabi to close the gap to 70 – 54 with six and a half left on the clock.
But it was too little, too late.
A dunk and a bucket from
Maccabi: Wisniewski 19 points, 5 assists, 5 steals; Pnini 15 points; Perkins 14 points; Lasme 10 points, 10 rebounds; Anderson 8 points; Bluthenthal 6 points; Green 5 points, 7 rebounds; Limonad, Anderson and Mekel 4 points each.
Rishon Lezion: O’Bannon 23 points; Tapiro 14 points; Wells 9 points; Orland 8 points; Grizzard 7 points; Marckovich 1 point.
Pini Gershon: “Rishon can be proud of the fact that they scored more points against us than did CSKA.”
When asked about the host’s comeback during the game, Gershon joked, “Comeback?
I don’t remember one.
It looked like we opened up a big lead at the beginning, but then we lost focus.”
When asked about the upcoming Euroleague game against
But we approach Euroleague games differently, especially Anderson and Eidson.
Sometimes a bad call will pull
“We took it easy,” said Yaniv Green about the game.
“The coaches made sure we weren’t too euphoric about the win over CSKA. The whole thing about minutes for the Israeli players doesn’t bother us.
There’s still a long season ahead of us and things can change.
We’re good enough to help the team, even to win in the Euroleague.
The bench is deep, and the minutes need to be divided up.”