Eight days after the loss in the Euroleague Final in Prague, the smiles are back on the Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv players faces. When the team scores 95 points, no team in Israel has a real chance Although Ironi Iscar Nahariya where alive even in the final eriod, there was little doubt who will be the eventual winner.
In the first quarter Maccabi still looked bad. Nahariya led 22-14, Maccabi came back to 23-22 but the hosts ended the period 27-22 up. !8 years old Omri Casspi was sent on by coach Gershon at the start of the second period which saw Maccabi’s defense tightening up. The Yellows took their first lead 29-28 and went on a 19-7 run and led 45-41 at half time.
Nahariya, who dominated the rebounds (41-29) and pulled down 18 offensive rebounds, evened the scores at 55-55. But then Maccabi had another run of 13-0 and at the end of the third, the score read 71-63.
The visiting team reduced the deficit to 71-68 but Vujcic, Baston & Solomon (6 assists), put Maccabi 95-77 up with the final score 95-84, a third win over Nahariya this season.
Except for the problems in rebounding, Maccabi had the edge in the other parameters: 68% for 2pts, 42% for 3pts, 84% in FT, 19 assists & 4 blocked shots.
Nikola Vujcic was the MVP for the night with an index rating of 33 consisting of 24 pts in 75% FG, 6 rbds, 3 asts & 2 bsts. Naceo Baston played only 26 minutes and had 19 pts in 70% FG, 6 rbds & 2 bsts.
Other Maccabi scorers: Parker 14, Solomon 13, Sharp 9, Burstein 8, Casspi 5, Shason 3 pts.
Top scorers for Nahariya: Wells 25, Young 20, Peleg 11 pts.