By Amy Samin
Maccabi’s starting five (Andrew Wisniewski, Chuck Eidson, Alan Anderson, Stephane Lasme and Maciej Lampe) got their first lead of the game, 6 – 5, off a steal by Lasme and a dunk by Anderson after several minutes of play.
Union Olympija retook the lead, while Lasme quickly racked up two fouls and was replaced by D’or Fischer, who scored two baskets in succession and gave Maccabi back the lead, 12 – 11 with just under four minutes left in the period.
The home team managed to score another eight points before the end of the quarter, but Anderson and Eidson kept Maccabi close, and a three-pointer from Guy Pnini in the corner tied the score 20 – 20 as the clock ran out.
Union Olimpija took an early lead in the second quarter, but were answered by seven straight from Maccabi (including two from Doron Perkins off a Hail Mary pass from Pnini, and a three by David Bluthenthal).
The home team’s coach Jure Zdovc took exception to a call by one of the referees and indulged in a full-fledged temper tantrum, bringing down two technicals on himself and being ejected from the game.
The hosts were also assigned an unsportsmanlike call and another T; even with imperfect shooting from the line, Maccabi benefited from the calls.
With four and a half minutes remaining in the half, Maccabi’s lead had grown to 36 – 28.
Maccabi stayed on top for the rest of the quarter, which ended with an easy two from Fish off an assist by Eidson, making it 44 – 36 at halftime.
The hosts got back into the game early in the third quarter, but a steal and coast-to-coast drive ending in a one-handed dunk by Eidson broke their momentum, making it 46 – 39, Maccabi.
Union Olimpija didn’t give up though, and the lead exchanged hands a couple of times before Maccabi retook it off points from Eidson on an offensive rebound.
Raviv Limonad made a pretty two from the side to make it 58 – 53 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
When the clock ran out, it was 58 – 55, Maccabi.
The first minute in the final period saw the home team retake the lead, 59 – 58, but they were answered from outside the arc by Bluthenthal with two and a half gone, and from then on Maccabi owned the lead.
A no-look pass from Perkins to Wiz put Maccabi up by four, 65 – 61 with just under five minutes left on the clock.
Wisniewski then took a coast-to-coast trip of his own, making it 67 – 63.
A sweet three from Eidson with a little under three minutes left was just a part of the contribution made by the guard-forward; he and Perk dominated the final minutes of the game with tough defense as well as points.
Another three-pointer from Bluthenthal put the frosting on the cake in the final seconds, and Maccabi earned an important away victory, 82 – 65 over Union Olimpija of Ljubljana.
Maccabi: Anderson 15 points; Bluthenthal 14 points; Eidson 13 points; Fischer 12 points; Perkins 11 points; Wisniewski 6 points; Pnini 5 points; Lampe, Lasme and Limonad 2 points each.
Union Olimpija: Ozbolt and Golubovic 14 points each; Walsh and Becirovic 12 points each; Slokar 5 points; Bavcic and Djordjevic 3 points each; Vidmar 2 points.