Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv closed the first round of the Israeli league with a perfect 11:0 record after a heroic effort on the road to beat Galil/Gilboa, 112:110. With a tight schedule, injured players out of the roster and Tyler Dorsey and Othello Hunter staying in Tel Aviv feeling ill, Giannis Sfairpolous had to compete with six players while the youngster Dori Sahar saw short flashes on the court in 50 minutes of basketball.
Scored for Maccabi: Scottie Wilbekin 35 points & 9 assists, Jake Cohen 33 points & 14 rebounds, Quincy Acy 15 & 8 rebounds, Deni Avdija 13 & 10 rebounds, Yovel Zoosman 9 & 9 rebounds, Elijah Bryant 7 and Dori Sahar participated but didn't score.
Scottie Wilbekin, Yovel Zoosman, Elijah Bryant, Jake Cohen, and Quincy Acy opened in the starting five. Acy started the game with a slam as Maccabi scored in their first four possessions to take an 8:2 advantage. Jarvis Varnado and Justin Tillman led the hosts back into the game, 10:8. Wilbekin hit two straight three's from outside the arc, 16:10. The Yellow & Blue kept the lead until the end of the first quarter, 23:19 after the first 10 minutes.
With the start of the second period, Wilbekin found Cohen for a three-point play, 26:19. However, the northern squad started reducing Maccabi's lead and, at midway through the quarter, as part of a 10:0 run took their first advantage of the night with great minutes by Jarmar Gulley, 32:38. Gulley capped a 17 point first half with two points, 37:46 at halftime.
The hosts increased the lead to 13, but a quick 8:0 Maccabi run, with Zoosman's three and Wilbekin's five straight points, cut Gilboa Galil's advantage to 45:50. Cohen led the Yellow & Blue's comeback on both sides of the court, capping the rally with a beautiful pass to Avdija that laid it in to take the lead, 56:55. The reds were able to slow down the pace, going into the final quarter at a 60:60 tie.
Throughout the fourth quarter, the reds were on top as they led by five going into the last minute of the game. With 44 seconds left, Jake Cohen missed a three, but Acy with a big offensive rebound dished it out again to the power forward who drained it from outside to reduce the advantage 75:77. Gulley hit two from the line, and on the other end, Wilbekin drove to the basket laid it in and was fouled on the play, to get the Yellow & Blue closer, 78:79 with 22 seconds on the game clock.
The hosts pulled within 4 after Amit Gershon scored from deep, however, with 7 seconds left, Wilbekin found Acy open in the corner, and once again the lead was decreased to 1. Edgar Sosa scored one of two from the free-throw line that gave the Maccabi one last shot. Wilbekin ran the court, drove right, and pulled a floater that sunk in with four-tenths of a second left, 83:83 going into overtime.
It stayed tight throughout overtime. In similar fashion to the tieing basket, Wilbekin rolled to the basket and hit it in with 8.5 seconds left to give the visitors a 93:90 lead. After free throws from both sides of the court, Sosa decided to take the teams into double overtime after draining a three from deep on the buzzer, 95:95.
The latter part of the second overtime, Zoosman hit a tough shot, as Tillman responded with a follow dunk and sank one more from the line, 110:108, Maccabi. With 13 seconds left, after two straight turnovers, Avdija gave to Acy who ran up the court and noticed the youngster to an open layup to give the Yellow & Blue a 4 point advantage. Tillman was only able to minimize the lead as Maccabi came away with the heroic win, 112:110.