Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv's suffered a dramatic loss Friday night to Valencia 80:82 as part of the 10th EuroLeague fixture. The Yellow & Blue drop to 3:7 on the European season after having trouble closing out the contest in the final two minutes of the game, letting the Spanish squad perform a late comeback and score the game-winning layup at the final buzzer. Scottie Wilbekin led the way with 25 points as Angelo Caloiaro contributed 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Scottie Wilbekin, Elijah Bryant, Angelo Caloiaro, Dragan Bender, and Ante Zizic started for the Yellow & Blue squad Guillem Vives, Klemen Prepelic, Nikola Kalinic, Jaime Pradilla, and Bojan Dubljevic opened on the other end. Prepelic and Padilla totaled 9 of Valencia's first 11 points as Wilbekin knocked down Maccabi's first three of the night and dished an assist to the driving Zizic, who slammed it home, 7:11.
Prepelic continued the hot start with a triple. Bryant countered with a beautiful pass to Caloiaro, who laid it in, and Othello Hunter came off the bench and pump-faked his defender, leading to an easy bucket inside, 14:16. Coach Sfairopoulos entered Wilbekin for the last 7 seconds, and Maccabi executed the possession perfectly with a three-pointer on the buzzer, 17:19.
Mike Tobey and Derrick Williams opened a six-point edge, but the Yellow & Blue responded well with Hunter in the paint, and Caloiaro stole the ball on the defensive end, slamming it down with the left hand. Oz Blayzer hooked a shot over an Orange defender, tying the game at 23, and Caloiaro drilled a shot from deep, giving the visitors their first advantage of the contest, 26:25.
Prepelic flipped the momentum and regained the edge scoring his 12th point of the half, and Williams converted a three-point play as part of a 5:0 run, 30:35. Wilbekin reacted with a tough corner three and read a Spanish pass concluding with an easy fastbreak layup, tying the game at 35. Dubljevic and Louis Labeyrie ended the half, scoring six unanswered points supplying the hosts with a 43:37 advantage.
The Yellow & Blue Croatian tandem worked well on both ends of the court, Zizic blocked Dubljevic and Bender drilled a transition three. Bryant, with several defensive stops, helped Maccabi tie the game at 47 after Wilbekin added his fourth triple and Caloiaro scored in the paint.
Tyler Dorsey drove to the bucket and saw Caloiaro open in the corner, who hit the three recapturing the advantage, Bender added two inside, increasing the edge up to 4. Still, Prepelic continued the tear from deep, counting in his 20th point, 54:53. Both sides exchanged baskets closing out the third quarter with a 1 point Yellow & Blue margin, 59:58.
Mike Tobey led Valencia to a quick 6:0 stretch to open the final 10 minutes, but Blayzer, with two beneficial offensive possessions, found Caloiaro for a shot from deep, 63:66. Wilbekin and Bryant flipped the score as part of a 9:0 run, knocking down back to back triples, making Jaume Ponsarnau call a timeout.
Williams put Valencia on his back, scoring 4 points for the Oranges. Still, Maccabi had Wilbekin, who drilled 25 points at this point, including two crucial threes, and lobbed an assist to Zizic that slammed it home, opening a 7 point margin, 77:70. Vives, Fernando San Emeterio, and Preplic cut the edge down to 2 as the host's fouled Bender, who converted one of two from the free-throw line, 80:77.
Bryant stole the ball from Sam Van Rossom, but the visitors couldn't get points, which provided Valencia a transition possession, and Williams hit a vital triple tying the game at 80 leaving 7 seconds for the Yellow & Blue one last play. Dubljevic took the ball from Zizic and passed to the open Van Rossom, who laid it in under the basket. Valencia dramatically defeats Maccabi, 82:80.