Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv remains perfect in the Israeli Winner League after an 81:75 home victory over Hapoel Haifa in the third matchup against the reds this season. The good news comes from John DiBartolomeo and Omri Casspi, who played well after recovering from long absences due to separate injuries.
The American guard scored eight while the Israeli forward contributed 10 points as the MVP of the Yellow & Blue was Oz Blayzer finishing the night with 21 points. Tyler Dorsey added an efficient game, scoring 9 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and dishing four assists.
"We played well until the 35th minute, we controlled the game, and we were up", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos after the win. "We expected Hapoel Haifa to try, and they came back, reducing the score total down to 4 points, but after that, we showed good character with good plays on both sides of the court. I didn't like the final 4 minutes, which gave them the chance to cut down the difference".
"I'm delighted how they performed tonight", Added Sfairopoulos about Casspi and DiBartolomeo's return. "It isn't easy to play an official game after a year out and perform the way they did. We are planning their return and implementing them into the team, and tonight they showed how much we missed them".
"We needed to get the win in the local league, it builds us towards the next game of the week, and it won't work to play subpar and expect to play well in the EuroLeague", Told Oz Blayzer after finishing the night as the teams top scorer with 21 points. "I'm happy we performed well defensively, we could have cut some of their points, but this is really important for our flow".
"After losing a couple of close games, we want to win so bad, and that makes us play as if we have weights on our legs. We need to play with the same intensity, and I'm sure that if these situations pop up in the next games, we will come up victorious".