Six games we waited for the real Maccabi. And it happened in ths seventh in the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona. Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv proved tonight that it was too early to dismiss them. In an excellent game they gave Dusko Ivanovic and his Winterthur Barcelona team no chance and won 88-78.
Right from the start the Maccabi players showed determination, led 10-0, 23-9 and at the end of the first quarter 27-15 with an aggressive defense and well organized offense. The margin increase to 32-15 before Barcelona made a comeback to 38-29 and 48-38 at half time. Those who had doubts about Maccabi`s ability to maintain the pressure, found out soon that Pini Gershon`s players carried on and by the end of the third period led 71-55. With 3:30 min. to go Maccabi opened a 20 pts lead (86-66) and the game was finished.
Maccabi end the first round of the Regular Season with a 4-3 record, one win away from top place in Group B.
This was Tal Burstein night.After some disappointing games. he was back at his best. He played 39 minutes setting a personal scoring record in the Euroleague with 24 pts, including 3-5 for 3 points, pulled down 7 rbds, made 2 steals, controlled the game and played some great defense.
Anthony Parker played 38 minutes and scored 17 pts. pulled down 6 rbds, dished out 5 assists and made 2 steals. Other Maccabi scorers: Vujcic 16, Baston 16, Solomon 8, Arnold 2, Sharp 2, Shason 2, Green 1.
Top scorers for Barcelona: Kakiouzis 21, Williams 10, De La Fuente 10 pts.
Stats: 2 pts shots – Maccabi 57%, Barcelona 49%, 3 pts - Maccabi 38%, Barcelona 23%, FT – both teams made 81%, assists – Maccabi 14, Barcelona 9, TO – Maccabi 13, Barcelona 17.