Head coach Pini Gershon said yesterday, that he has no intention to celebrate Passover away from home. And his players made sure this will not happen by winning in Isranbul 88-66 over Ulker. With Real Madrid losing 61-66 in Bologna vs Climamio, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, has assured first place in Group E. So Maccabi will host Olympiacos in Tuesday, play in Piraeus 48 hours later and in case of a deciding game, Maccabi will be hosts once again on April 13 (Passover day).
Ulker lasted one quarter, winning it 20-19. Maccabi lost Nikola Vujcic with a back pain in the fifth minute. But Yaniv Green took over and helped the team to a 40-30 lead. Maccabi made only 2-10 in three pointers in the first half which ended on 42-35.
Maccabi opened a 15 points gap (59-44) in the third period which ended on 63-52. Green fouled out on 71-56 but Maccabi were in complete control (86-59) and the final score 88-66. A few minutes later the news came from Bologna and the Euroleague Champions for the last two years, made a decisive step towards another Final Four.
It was not a great game by the Yellows, who had 14 turnovers and made only 35% in three points shots. This was the only category in which Ulker were better with 52% on 11-21. Maccabi`s defense did a great job especially by stopping the Turkish captain Ibrahim Kitluay on 3 pts after he scored 25 pts in Tel Aviv.
Macabi made 58% on 2 pts shots (Ulker 26%) and 92% in FT. Maccabi dominated the rebounds 34-24. assists 17-9 and steals 15-7.
Another superb performance by Maceo Baston, who scored 25 pts in 69% FG and 100% FT (6-6), pulled down 7 rbds and blocked 2 shots for an Index Rating of 29 to make him MVP of Week Six. An excellent game by Sharon Shason: 19 min, 14 pts in 100% FG (4-4 for three), 4 rbds, 2 asts & 2 stls. Anthony Parker played 36 min. scored 14 pts, pulled down 5 rbds. dished out 3 asts but had also 5 turnovers.
Other scorers: Sharp 9, Burstein 6, Arnold 6, Green 6, Solomon 5 (1-10 FG) & 8 asts, Vujcic 3 pts.
Top scorers for Ulker: Stefanov 14, Turkcan 13 pts & 8 rbds, Onan 13 & Savas 10 pts.