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Maccabi Tel-Aviv - Irony Ashkelon


Israel League | Round 17 | 15/03/2009 | 20:25 | NOKIA ARENA
Maccabi Tel-Aviv97
Final Score
86Irony Ashkelon
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Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Overpowers Ironi Ashkelon 97 – 86

n a fabulous first game in Maccabi yellow for Raviv Limonad at Nokia Arena, Maccabi walked away with a victory over Ashkelon in Week 17 play of Premier League play.

15/03/2009
HOME · News Archive · Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Overpowers Ironi Ashkelon 97 – 86
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Overpowers Ironi Ashkelon 97 – 86

By Amy Samin


Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv preserved their first-place standing in the Winner League after defeating Ironi Ashkelon and their new coach, Robbie Belinko.
Raviv Limonad made a sensational debut with Maccabi, scoring 11 points and making 3 assists.


Maccabi started the game with Charles Gaines, Marcus Brown, Carlos Arroyo, Lior Eliyahu and Omri Casspi, while Ashkelon led off with Jeron Roberts, Tre Kelley, Avi Ben Chimol, Amit Tamir, and Rahshon Turner.


The game got off to a slow start, and with Maccabi scoring off a three-pointer by Brown and a basket by Eliyahu in the first half of the period, the score stood at 8 – 5 Ashkelon after 5 minutes.
But Maccabi turned things around with a dazzling 13 – 0 scoring run to take the lead, 18 – 8 with two and a half minutes left in the quarter.
Marcus Brown had a hot hand, Arroyo handed out gifts, and the Casspiyahu show came back to town.
There was just enough time for Limonad to step out on the court for the first time in yellow, and for Brown to fire off another shot from downtown (11 points in the first period); the first period ended in a solid lead for Maccabi, 25 – 13.


Maccabi slowed the tempo at the start of the second quarter, and head coach Pini Gershon used the opportunity to send in some of the second string, but saw only one basket by Eliyahu in the first two and a half minutes of the period, 27 – 17.
Strong defense by Dror Hagag and Limonad protected Maccabi’s double-digit lead, but in the end slow minutes on offense for the home team allowed Ashkelon to close in, 37 – 31 with three minutes until halftime.
In spite of a three-pointer by Arroyo and a nice basket plus one for Aaron McGhee, the visitors refused to allow Maccabi to break away.
A nimble assist from Casspi to Limonad finished off the first half, with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv leading 47 – 36.


Maccabi’s game remained relaxed and smooth at the start of the second half, with a well-oiled offense, fast breaks and superb direction by Limonad.
With four minutes remaining in the third period, Maccabi’s lead had grown to 67 – 46 and Ashkelon could feel the game slipping through their fingers.
A string of shots by Kelley allowed the visitors to close in, but the quarter ended with a strong Maccabi lead, 74 – 59.


The shots just wouldn’t fall for Maccabi at the start of the fourth quarter, and Ashkelon capitalized on that, closing the gap to 77 – 64 after two and a half minutes of play.
Ashkelon continued to make things tough for the home team, helped by a lackluster Maccabi defense, but smooth teamwork by Eliyahu, Gaines and Dee Brown increased Maccabi’s lead to 86 – 70 with five minutes left in the final period.
The last minutes of the game saw a number of quick baskets by Ashkelon, closing the deficit enough to give them a less embarrassing loss than they deserved.
At the final buzzer: a 97 – 86 victory for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.


Box Scores

Maccabi: Gaines 18 points (7 rebounds); Arroyo 16 points (10 assists); M. Brown 16 points; Eliyahu 12 points; Limonad 11 points; Casspi 10 points; D. Brown 8 points; McGhee and Hagag, 3 points each.


Ashkelon: Kelley 22 points; Truscott 21 points; Turner and Roberts 13 points each; Ben Chimol 7 points; Tamir 7 points; Davidi 3 points.


After the game, Pini Gershon said, “Limonad could have been better, but for a start he was okay.
McGhee didn’t have enough time on the court to show off his ability, and I didn’t want to make things tough for him.
At his position, it will take him a lot of time to get into the swing of things.”
The coach added, “We are enjoying every day.
We get together, and every practice is a good experience.
People enjoy their work here.
I think we’re the best team in Israel, and we need to take the championship.”


Man of the hour Raviv Limonad said, “I don’t expect to star, but to help the team out with whatever they need.
I hope I can contribute strong defense, and to help out on offense to the best of my ability.
Whatever is asked of me, I will do.
It’s a kind of dream come true for me.”


samintranslations@yahoo.com


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