A few hours after taking part in Igal Shatski`s funeral, Maccabi Tel Aviv players were in somber mood at the NOKIA Arena. But the show must go on and Barcelona will play here on Thursday.
Pini Gershon would have preferred a sterner test than what the visitors from Ashkelon could offer. From 8-8 in the sixth minute, Maccabi ran to 21-13 at the end of the first quarter. By half time the margin was 21 pts (49-28).
From the middle of the third period, Maccabi played with an all Israeli line up. A stunning three pointer on the buzzer of the period made the score 77-44 and eventually Maccabi won by 29 pts, 95-66.
Jamie Arnold, who was due to play for Nikola Vujcic, suffered from an Achilles Tendon and was left out together with Kirk Penney.
Maccabi reached 46% in three pointers (12-26) mainly through Derrick Sharp (6-9). Maccabi dominated the rebounds (46-34) and the assists (21-15).
Sharon Shason was close to a triple double with 12 pts, 10 rbds & 7 assists.
Scorers for Maccabi: Sharp 20, Baston 14 & 7 rbds, Shason 12, Parker 11, Burstein 10, Green 8 pts & 5 rbds, Casspi 8, Solomon 7 pts & 6 asts, Dotan 5 pts.
Top scorers for Ashkelon: Tolbert 16, Mizrahi 16, Head 11 pts & 10 rbds.