Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv tonight qualified for their fifth Euroleague Final Four in the last sixth season, with a dramatic 103-100 win in Pesaro, over Scavolini. Maccabi took a 2-0 lead in the best of three series and will play either Panathinaikos Athens or Efes Pilsen Istanbul on May the 6th in Moscow.
Traditionally the meeting between the teams in the BPA PALAS was close and exciting, nothing to do with the game at the NOKIA Arena 48 hors earlier. Maccabi led throughout but Charles Smith and his colleagues fame back every time and were in with a chance until the final buzzer.
Maccabi led 23-21 at the end of the first quarter and 50-41 at half time. The margin remained at the end of the third (78-69). But three minutes into the final period Maccabi lead was cut to 80-77. And so its remained until the end. A turnover by Anthony Parker enabled the brilliant Smith to make the score 97-95 for Maccabi with 52 seconds left. Deon Thomas made it 99-95 with two free throws. Mottola reacted from the line and Parker did likewise and with 16 seconds to go. Maccabi led 101-97.
A suicidal three pointer by Scoonie Penn with 4 seconds left, made it a one point game (101-100) but Maceo Baston dunked the final points of the game.
There was very little between the teams on the game stats except for the free throws were Maccabi had 91% to Scavolini 71%.
A great game for Nikola Vujcic with 26 pts in 75% FG and 100% FT, 3 rbds & 2 assists. On the other hand Saras had a poor shooting night with 1-13 FG, but 6-6 from the line, 7 rbds and 5 assists.