By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv wrapped up the first round of the season with a 9 –
1 record, thanks to their 83 –
72 win over Asseco Prokom Gdynia in Poland.
Sofoklis Schortsanitis had a fantastic night, scoring 23 points, pulling down 7 rebounds and taking 3 steals on his way to a 38 point index rating.
Chuck Eidson scored 13 points, David Blu added 12.
Maccabi’s newest player, Milan Mačvan, made his debut with the team and scored 8 points.
Coach David Blatt led off with Jeremy Pargo, David Blu, Chuck Eidson, Doron Perkins and Sofoklis Schortsanitis.
Prokom’s starting five included Daniel Ewing, Mateusz Kostrzewski, Piotr Szczotka, Ratko Varda and Ronnie Burrell.
Maccabi looked strong in the opening minutes of the game, kicking things off with three-pointers by Eidson and Bu; in the first two and a half minutes four of the five starters had scored, taking Maccabi to a 14 – 2 lead.
Prokom put a few points on the board, which were answered by a smooth fade-away by Blu from the left side, 17 – 5.
Maccabi’s defense continued to keep Prokom in check, while points by Pargo, Blu, and Richard Hendrix (from middle distance) put Maccabi up 23 – 8 with three minutes left in the period.
Milan Mačvan came into the game and delivered a hook shot that made it 25 – 8 with less than a minute on the clock.
The quarter ended with Maccabi leading by a score of 25 – 11.
Mačvan scored first for Maccabi in the second period, off an assist from Perk.
Co-captain Tal Burstein came into the game and made his presence felt, scoring four points within two minutes, 33 - 16.
Sofo dominated under the basket, cutting through Prokom’s defenders like a hot knife through butter.
Guy Pnini drained two straight from outside the arc to put Maccabi’s lead at twenty-four, 42 – 18.
A drive to the basket and one by Eidson was followed by a spin-and-in by Hendrix to make it 51 – 25.
The Poles were able to score a few times before the halftime break, and the teams went to the locker rooms with the score 52 – 29.
The hosts opened strong in the second half, going on a 13 – 4 scoring run that put them within fourteen, 56 – 42.
A nice assist by Sofo (his third) to Eidson under the basket stopped the run, but Prokom continued to fight.
With the exception of a three-pointer from Perk on the right wing with two minutes left in the period, Maccabi’s remaining points in the quarter came from the charity stripe.
At the end of three periods Maccabi led by ten, 67 – 57.
Maccabi looked to Sofo in the fourth period, and he delivered on both ends of the court.
Points by Pargo, Blu and Sofo reopened the visitors’ lead to nineteen, 76 – 57 after two and a half minutes.
A string of threes by the hosts brought Prokom within eleven, but Maccabi refused to allow a comeback, and the game ended in an 83 – 72 victory for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv over Asseco Prokom Gdynia.
Maccabi: Schortsanitis 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals; Eidson 13 points, 6 assists, 4 steals; Blu 12 points, 5 rebounds; Mačvan 8 points (100% from the line), 2 rebounds; Hendrix 7 points; Pnini and Perkins 6 points each; Burstein and Pargo 4 points each.