Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv got its eight win a row in the 33rd and final round of the Israeli domestic league. The yellows traveled up north to face Ironi Naharya after already securing the top spot in the standings in the previous run. The crew in yellow and blue completed two 11:0 runs during the game to secure the win. On Thursday the yellows will begin their championship quest with a best of five playoff series versus Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Coach Sfairopoulos’ starting five: Wilbekin, Zoosman, Caloiaro, Cohen and Black. Maccabi started the game firing on all cylinders outscoring the hosts 11:0 forcing coach Alfasi to call for a timeout. Henry and Griffin reacted for Naharya who managed to stabilize their defense to stay close to the yellows (9:15). Both teams traded blows with the locals being the ones to capitalize but Tyus had the final say in the first quarter with a beautiful left hook shot making it 21:25 at the end of the first quarter.
Altit and Griffin sparked the hosts’ offensive rhythm as they took their first lead of the night (28:27), however the comeback was short lived as Johnny O’Bryant’s three-point play gave Maccabi the edge. The yellows hustled their way to a 30:36 lead forcing coach Alfasi to call for a timeout. Nesterenko and Allen made sure their team will remain close to the reigning champs at halftime (37:41).
Altit scores at the beginning of the third but Wilbekin and Cohen capitalized on the offensive end increasing Maccabi’s lead to 39:47. Black was the man for coach Sfairopoulos keeping the visitors’ ahead 46:52. Griffin tried to keep Naharya in the game but Black Cohen and Caloiaro completes an 11:0 run to make it 46:60. Griffin was the last to score in the third quarter as the scoreboard showed 48:63.
Altit and Misgav tried to spark the Naharya offense but Maccabi had John-Di who kept both his composure and the yellows ahead 52:67. The hosts went on damage control hoping it’ll spark another comeback but Roll and John-Di made it 68:77 from which Naharya could not recover. Coach Alfasi subbed into the game the teams’s youngsters to allow a standing ovation to his players who completed their journey of survival. Tomer Cohen scored from deep for the locals to make it 71:77 at the end of the game as the yellows wins their 27th game of the season.