By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Barak Netanya 77-67 on the road in week 11 of the Israeli Winner Sal League. David Blu and Sofo Schortsanitis were outstanding with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Yogev Ohayon contributed 16 points, and Alex Tyus put on a show on defense.
Starters were Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, Guy Pnini, Yogev Ohayon and Sofo Schortsanitis. Maccabi got off to a great start, running to 11-2 in the first five minutes on points from Hickman and Ohayon. The hosts fought to get into the game, but David Blu lit up the scoreboard with a catch, spin and in from the paint and a pair of treys. A putback by Alex Tyus closed out the period with Maccabi leading 26-16.
Netanya looked more focused as the second quarter got underway, and despite points from Sofo and Landesberg, pulled to within three 31-28 after five minutes of action. Landesberg and Hickman were able to regrow Maccabi's lead to double digits, but the hosts didn't give up, and once again cut the deficit to a more comfortable size. Five straight points by Blu helped Maccabi end the half with a 46-40 lead.
Both teams looked disorganized at the start of the third quarter, but close to the midway point Maccabi had extended their lead to nine, 55-46. The hosts battled their way back, closing to within one, 56-55 with less than two minutes left in the period. Tyrese Rice scored from the charity stripe to keep Maccabi on top, and the period ended with the score 58-57.
Blu scored for Maccabi at the start of the fourth quarter, but the team from Tel Aviv couldn't find the basket for several minutes after that, while the home team went on a short scoring run that gave them a 61-60 lead. Sofo responded with an 8-2 scoring run all his own, putting Maccabi back in the lead, 69-63 with just over four minutes left in the game. Netanya struggled to close the gap again, but a Blu and shoot from the right corner (assist Pnini) and a triple from Ohayon secured a 77-67 victory for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv over Barak Netanya.