Maccabi Tel Aviv gained a small measure of revenge for last season’s semifinal playoff exit against Hapoel Eilat with an emphatic 96-69 win at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Monday night.
Maccabi, which was coming off a defeat to Ironi Nahariya, outscored Eilat 38-15 in the first 10 minutes and never looked back to improve to 7-3.
Devin Smith had 19 points for Maccabi, which was able to rest its starters ahead of Thursday’s crucial Euroleague game against Brose Baskets Bamberg of Germany at Yad Eliyahu.
Maccabi, which has a 2-6 record in Europe, has to defeat Bamberg, hope that Darussafaka (4-4) loses as expected the following day at group leader CSKA Moscow (7-1) and then beat the Turks on the road in their final group game by at least 12 points to claim the tiebreaker after losing their first meeting of the season at Yad Eliyahu 84-73.
Alade Aminu had 13 points for Eilat, which fell to 3-7.