By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is the only remaining team in the Premier League with a perfect record so far this season after defeating Kiryat Ata by more than thirty points in a game that was all sewn up by the end of the first quarter.
Maccabi played brilliantly under the guidance of Carlos Arroyo, who was one rebound away from a triple double.
On Thursday, Maccabi will play Hapoel Jerusalem in Malha in a make up game for the game that was delayed earlier this month.
Maccabi started the game with Lior Eliyahu, D’or Fischer, Tal Burstein, Marcus Brown and Carlos Arroyo.
Kiryat Ata’s starters were Brandon McKnight, Draelon Burns, Josh Nigut, Uriel Marko, and Dante Milligan.
A series of missed shots by various Maccabi players enabled the hosts to take a 5 – 4 lead after three minutes of play in the first quarter.
After this slow start, Maccabi took off under the direction of Arroyo and Sharp, and before Kiryat Ata knew what had happened, Maccabi had taken a 21 – 8 lead with two minutes left in the quarter.
The hosts didn’t have what it takes to stop Maccabi’s explosive offense, and the first quarter ended on free throws by Arroyo, which brought the score to 26 – 11.
Maccabi opened the second quarter with their second string, who continued the strong performance of their teammates from the first quarter, to the point where Kiryat Ata did not look like they were trying very hard to get back in the game.
Head coach Efy Birenboim took advantage of the big lead to give more minutes to the Maccabi players who were in need of confidence building.
He got good results from them, and the score was at 32 – minutes of play.
Free throws by Jason Williams and a coast-to-coast layup by Arroyo brought Maccabi’s lead up to 20 points, and the quarter ended with the score 44 – 22.
Efy turned back to his original starting five at the start of the second half, and Maccabi kept pouring it on.
Five straight points by Brown brought the score to 51 – 26 three minutes into the third quarter.
The hosts looked like they weren’t even on the court, and in comparison Maccabi looked like the European champions.
Maccabi’s dominance in the game looked effortless, and they cruised to a 57 – 26 lead after five and a half minutes’ play in the third quarter.
By the end of the quarter, Kiryat Ata had managed to score a few points, and at the end of the quarter the score stood at 66 – 38, Maccabi.
Nothing much changed in the fourth quarter, and a lot of smiles were seen on the Maccabi bench.
Efy continued dividing up the minutes among his players, giving confidence to the less-experienced Maccabi players, and they responded by presenting him with an 88 – 56 victory.
Maccabi: Simmons 13 points; Fischer 12 points, Brown 11 points; Arroyo 11 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists; Williams 10 points, 8 rebounds; Casspi 7 points; Eliyahu 6 points; Hagag 5 points, 3 assists; Green 5 points; 8 rebounds; Sharp 4 points; Burstein and Batista 2 points each.
Kiryat Ata: Kohansky 18 points; McKnight 10 points; Nigut 9 points.
Maccabi didn’t have any trouble against the new arrivals to the Premier League, cruising to an 88 – 56 victory over Kiryat Ata.
Efy Birenboim: “It’s another game.
We had good minutes and less good ones.
In general, it was another victory for us.
About his friend and colleague, Meir Kaminsky, whose team suffered their third straight loss, Birenboim said, “My friendship with Meir is about more than basketball; it started with basketball but it’s about more than that now.
We each have our own problems and we’re on our way.”
When he was asked about the upcoming game against Hapoel Jerusalem on Thursday at Malha, the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv coach replied, “I’ve already been asked about the game against
It’s not a Euroleague game and won’t bring us points in the Euroleague.
But we really want to win that game in
Tal Burstein, who has played in Malha many times over the years, said, “There are things we’re working on in practice.
We have an opportunity, and we’re getting ready for Thursday.
We’re preparing with the same intensity and excitement.
We will continue to improve.
Someone is always making comparisons to previous Maccabi teams; it’s hard to compare our team now with teams from the early 2000s with players like Saras, Parker and Nikola.
We need to come out and start playing well.
Last year we had a lot of players and there were a lot of comparisons, just like this year.”