By Amy Samin
After crushing Ashkelon 97 – 65 in an away game, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv joins Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Haifa in the Winner League Final Four.
Maccabi will face the victor in Thursday’s game between Galil Gilboa and
Maccabi started the game with a familiar fivesome: Omri Casspi, Marcus Brown, Carlos Arroyo, D’or Fischer and Lior Eliyahu.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the opening minutes of the game, and after three and a half minutes of play the score was a paltry 6 – 4 with Maccabi leading.
A three-pointer from Eitan woke them all up, and both teams started to play more offensively.
Solid play under the basket kept Maccabi in the lead, 14 – 11 with three minutes left in the period.
Arroyo got into the action, scoring 5 straight to maintain Maccabi’s lead at the end of the quarter, 21 – 17.
Lazy defense by Maccabi allowed the hosts to close the gap early in the second quarter, then tie the score at minutes.
Strong play by Marcus Brown, especially on offense where he was 11 for 12 from the free throw line, put Maccabi back on top, 31 – 27 with four minutes left in the half.
Maccabi got into trouble on offense, and
Arroyo continued to show off his skill at the start of the second half, with a shot from outside the arc and free throws giving Maccabi a solid lead, 53 – 36 two and a half minutes into the second half.
The hosts didn’t respond, pretty much disappearing from the game, allowing Maccabi to completely dominate in the third period.
A bucket by Raviv Limonad put the finishing touch on a 16 – 2 scoring run which brought the score to 68 – 38 with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Maccabi was merciless, and points from the line by Arroyo capped off a huge third period for Maccabi (28 – 6) with the score 72 – 40.
The fourth quarter was all about Maccabi’s bench, as
After the handshakes and back slaps, Maccabi wrapped up the evening with a 97 – 65 victory over Ironi Ashkelon and a guaranteed spot in the Final Four.
Maccabi: Arroyo 21points, 6 assists; M. Brown 18 points; Casspi 12 points, 6 rebounds; Eliyahu 10 points, 8 rebounds; Burstein 9 points; Fischer 8 points; Limonad and McGhee 6 points each; D. Brown 5 points, 5 assists; Green 2 points.
Ashkelon: Turner 18 points, 6 rebounds; Tamir 11 points, 6 rebounds; Grant 10 points; Eitan 8 points; Davidi 5 points; Cohen 4 points; Kelley 3 points; Roberts, Bruton and Truscott 2 points each.