Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv earned their first EuroLeague win of the season in front of their roaring fans in Yad Eliyahu, as she was forced into overtime. Red Star Belgrade was able to come back from a double-digit deficit to a 67:67 tie, but the home team got away with an 84:69 victory. Scottie Wilbekin took control in extra time, giving the Yellow & Blue fans a happy trip home.
Maccabi was unstoppable in the opening minutes as a result of an excellent preparation by Giannis Sfairopoulos and his staff. The Yellow & Blue blew the Serbians away, with spectacular minutes by Omri Casspi, Tarik Black, and their teammates to establish a double-digit advantage early on. In the second quarter, the Serbians were able to cut down the lead, and in the fourth, they tied it up and forced overtime. Wilbekin, with the help of the fans in the stands, was responsible for keeping the win in Tel Aviv.
An emotional ceremony took place before the tip-off, in honor of Maccabi's Chairman Shimon Mizrahi, who celebrated his 80th birthday. A sold-out crowd with several special guests including Euroleague Basketball President Jordi Bertomeu, and guest of honor, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin gave a wholehearted ovation to Mizrahi that opened his 51st season in the Yellow & Blue colors.
Maccabi's next game will be played on Sunday afternoon (15:00) against Ironi Nes Ziona at Lev Hamoshava Arena. Afterward, the team will start their preparations for their second EuroLeague home game against Valencia.