By Amy Samin
Maccabi’s starting lineup included Carlos Arroyo, Marcus Brown, Omri Casspi, Lior Eliyahu and D’or Fischer, while Anthony Myles, Mike Helms, Carmelo Lee, Yariv Yatzkan and Shmuel Brener opened the game for
Brown got Maccabi’s offense off to an excellent start with three shots from outside the arc, but the game was close in the early minutes anyway, 13 – 10 Maccabi after four minutes of play.
Brown remained hot (scoring 15 points in the first quarter) while the visitor’s defense melted away like Swiss cheese under the 10 – 0 onslaught by Maccabi.
With four minutes left in the period, Maccabi’s lead had grown to 21 – 10.
Maccabi continued to pile on the points, and an effortless layup by Eliyahu sealed the first quarter score, 32 – 18, Maccabi.
The next minutes saw a complete evaporation of defense on both sides, but the free-for-all shooting match didn’t change the overall result much, and with two minutes until halftime, Maccabi led 57 – 37.
For the remainder of the period, Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon sent in the troops off the bench, and D. Brown served up another three-pointer in the closing seconds.
The half ended with Maccabi dominating, 64 – 46.
Brown and Aaron McGhee continued to preserve Maccabi’s lead, while Myles and
Four minutes into the period, an assist from Raviv Limonad to McGhee set the score at 72 – 52.
Ramat Gan pulled themselves together enough to keep Maccabi from further widening the gap, while points from Casspi and Yaniv Green closed out the third quarter with the score 82 – 64.
Brener narrowed the deficit with a three-pointer, but an 8 – 0 scoring run by Maccabi rendered his effort useless, and Maccabi led 90 – 67 after two and a half minutes of play in the final quarter.
A three-pointer by Yatzkan and some good moves by Hachmon slightly sweetened the bitter pill the visitors were forced to swallow.
For the rest of the game, Maccabi moved the ball well, with Fischer racking up a few more points including a dunk off a generous assist from D. Brown, to bring about the final result:
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 103,
Maccabi: M. Brown 20 points; Casspi 15 points, 9 rebounds; Eliyahu 14 points; Fischer 13 points; D. Brown 11 points; McGhee and Arroyo, 10 points each; Limonad 8 points, 5 assists; Green 2 points.
Ramat Gan: Yatzkan 24 points; Myles 17 points, 7 rebounds; Helms 16 points; Henning 11 points; Hachmon 8 points; Lee 7 points; Brener 3 points, 7 assists.
“The most important thing is that no one got hurt and we finished the game well,” said Maccabi head coach Pini Gershon, who is already thinking ahead to the playoffs.
“All of our players did a great job today, but I was surprised that we didn’t do better on defense.
When you look at
In response to a question about the future, Gershon said, “Don’t ask me about next season until the 22nd of May.”
Gershon did agree, however, to talk about the structure of the team for next season: “I’d like to see five Europeans on Maccabi next year, but to do that you need fifty million Euros.
The best Europeans go to the NBA, and in the end it’s easier and cheaper to bring Americans.”
“Every game is important, and I think we played great offensively.
When Marcus is alone, it’s tough to stop him,” said Omri Casspi, who is looking ahead to next week’s game at Romema (
We hope that this year we’ll win there.”
When asked about his future, Casspi replied, “There’s nothing specific or new about the (NBA) draft.”
Losing coach Amir Uzi summarized the game from his perspective, “I wouldn’t say that the loss makes me angry.
We showed decisiveness and energy, at least in the second half.
We’ve got a battle now, and I hope we’ll be strong enough to nail down the eighth position (and make the playoffs).”