By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv qualified for tomorrow's final of the Winner League Cup after defeating Hapoel Fattal Eilat 85-65. Their opponent will be traditional rivals Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi's scorers with 17 points, and Joe Ingles scored 15 on 5 of 7 shooting from outside the arc. Yogev Ohayon (7 assists) and Shawn James scored 11 points each. Guy Pnini and Sofo Schortsanitis did not dress for the game.
Starters for Maccabi were team captain Shawn James, Ricky Hickman, Devin Smith, Yogev Ohayon and Jake Cohen. Maccabi got off to a great start, reaching 13-0 in the first five minutes thanks to points by Cohen and James and great defense including a huge block by the captain. Eilat finally lit up the scoreboard at the halfway mark, but couldn't keep up with Maccabi, who ran to 25-7 by the end of the period thanks in part to points from Hickman, Sylven Landesberg and Yuval Naimy.
Points by James (assist Joe Ingles) and a three by Ingles took Maccabi to 31-9 two minutes into the second quarter. Eilat managed to put together a 7-0 run, then added a 10-2 run that put them within ten, 36-26 with just under four minutes left in the period. A catch and shoot three and a buzzer-beating floater by Landesberg reopened Maccabi's lead, and Smith added an elegant reverse layup. The half ended with Maccabi leading 46-32.
Once again Eilat was able to cut the deficit to ten, but a pair of treys from Ohayon and Ingles soon helped to restore order, 52-36 with six and a half left in the period. The Israeli guard drained another shot from downtown to extend Maccabi's lead to 59-40 with just over three minutes left in the period. Smith added a bucket and 1 and the quarter ended with Maccabi up 64-47.
Eilat continued to fight at the start of the fourth quarter, closing the gap this time to eleven, 66-55 three minutes into the period. Three straight threes by Ingles put Maccabi back on track, 78-60, and Tyrese Rice added two straight buckets of his own to help finish things off. In the end, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Fattal Eilat 85-65 and will advance to the Winner Cup final, where they will face rivals Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem.