By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv remains undefeated in the Adriatic League, after beating Široki in Bosnia & Herzegovina, 84 – 60. Once again Lior Eliyahu had an excellent night, scoring 19 points. Other outstanding players were Richard Hendrix (16 points on 100% shooting) and Sofo Schortsanitis (13 points). Jordan Farmar got the night off.
David Blatt led off with Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Jon Scheyer, Yogev Ohayon, Lior Eliyahu, and Devin Smith. The score seesawed in the early minutes of the first quarter, with Široki taking the lead and Maccabi tying the score, until Sofo scored 5 straight points to put Maccabi up 11 – 7 after four minutes of play. Široki soon responded with two straight three pointers to retake the lead, 16 – 14 just past the halfway mark. David Blu tied the score at 18, but it was two straight baskets in the paint by Richard Hendrix that gave Maccabi a 23 – 21 lead at the buzzer ending the first period.
Though Maccabi’s defense looked good at the start of the second quarter, Široki managed to tie the score at 25 all a minute and a half into the period. A layup by Theo Papaloukas put Maccabi up 29 – 27, and sparked a string of Maccabi points, including a bucket by Sofo, a catch and shoot from David Blu from outside the arc, and a steal + dunk by Smith. A layup by team captain Tal Burstein gave Maccabi a double digit lead, 40 – 30 with three and a half minutes left in the period. A pair of buckets by Hendrix was followed by back to back steals and points by Ohayon, and a layup on the fastbreak by Scheyer closed out the half with Maccabi leading 50 – 33.
The third quarter got off to a slow start for Maccabi, who finally got on the scoreboard three minutes into the period after a top of the key bucket from Ohayon. Eliyahu continued to score, thanks in part to great assists from Ohayon and Pnini. Hendrix benefited from an exceptional fake drive turned assist from Pnini and slammed in the dunk to make it 58 – 41, Maccabi. In the final minutes of the period Maccabi’s offense slowed a bit while Široki scored repeatedly from the charity stripe. The third quarter ended with Maccabi still holding on to a comfortable lead, 66 – 51.
The hosts dominated the early minutes of the final period, and succeeded in narrowing the gap to ten, 66 – 56, until a dunk and one from Hendrix woke up Maccabi’s offense. Eliyahu once again starting offering up his unique one handed shots, and Hendrix contributed another bucket and 1, making it 74 – 59 with less than five minutes left on the clock. Guy Pnini drained a three from the right wing, points from both Eliyahu and Ohayon further padded the lead, and the game ended in an 84 – 60 win for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv over Široki in the Adriatic League.
Maccabi: Eliyahu 19 points; Hendrix 16 points; Schortsanitis 13 points; Ohayon 10 points, 5 assists, 5 steals; Smith 7 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists; Pnini 6 points; Blu 5 points; Papaloukas 2 points, 5 assists, 4 steals; Scheyer 2 points; James 2 points; Burstein 2 points, 4 steals.
Top scorers for Široki: Pilepić 18 points; Sakic 12 points.