Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv was aware that a loss under 12 points would lock up a first-place finish in the Israeli "WINNER" League. Still, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad had bigger plans - complete the job in style. The Yellow & Blue dominated both ends of the court, which opened a double-digit advantage midway through the first quarter and, from that point on, never looked back on it's way to a 93:82 convincing win in the Pais Arena over Hapoel Jerusalem.
"We saw today how much we wanted this game more than Jerusalem starting the game really concentrated and following exactly our plan", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos after the win. "Defensively, we had a great game. The first period was very important, allowing only 14 points against a very good offensive team, and overall, the first 60 minutes were excellent defensively. Even though we lacked a bit aggressiveness in the last four minutes of the first half, the beginning of the second half was very important, allowing only 19 points in the third".
"Offensively, we had a very good game reading the opponent's defense, setting the ball, moving it around, finding the best shot, and attacking their weak points. Although Jerusalem tried to come back, we controlled the game keeping a safe point differential as we deserved to win. I want to congratulate our players, they showed character and how good they can play when they're focused, determined and ready to play although we had only three foreigners and we were missing Israeli players like DiBartolomeo and Casspi".
"We played together, we allowed 37 points in the first half, and we were flowing offensively in the first half scoring 54 points. In total, we dished 24 assists", Told Yovel Zoosman about the team's performance despite missing so many players. "We did what we desired defensively, on the offensive end, we moved the ball well and found the open man. At the half, Amar'e and Jake said it's a brand new ballgame, it's time to prove it all over again. We didn't do it good enough, but the point differential from the first half helped us".
"In my opinion, Scottie is one of the best players in Europe, and every time he shows why. When he wants to, no one in Europe can stop him".