It was a rollercoaster of a game. Maccabi went down by 10, led by 17 and blew the entire lead only to come out with a narrow 77:74 win over Herzliya and a place in the Winner Cup semifinal. Maccabi will face Nahariya on Thursday.
The game started with a slew of turnovers that resulted in a 10 point deficit by the second quarter (30:20). Sylven Landsberg came off the bench and led a run that lasted all the way to the third quarter and gave Maccabi a 17 point lead. From that point on, the game became sloppy on both sides and Herzliya battled back. Sonny Weems, who struggled with turnovers, scored 4 points out of his 9 in the last 60 seconds and made sure Maccabi escaped with the win.
Landsberg led Maccabi with 18 points, Yogev Ohayon had 13 and 5 assists, Gal Mekel had 11 and 5 assists as well. Also scored: Weems 9, Zirbes 8, Smith 7, Iverson 5, Pnini and Alexander 3 each.
"In a way, I’m glad we won like this", said Coach Erez Edelstein, "I've been telling the players for a while that there are no easy games in the Israeli league and they got to experience it first-hand. The up-and-down performance is very indicative of preseason. Handling the ball better and getting our big men involved are the two issues that stand out to me, Basketball wise".