Maccabi TA holds on for crucial win in Italy

Without Farmar or Smith, yellow-and-blue stays alive with second Euroleague victory

December 4, 2015 05:49
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sylven Landesberg

Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sylven Landesberg scored a team-high 19 points in last night’s 76-74 victory over Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari in Italy.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

Maccabi Tel Aviv remained in the hunt for a place in the Euroleague Top 16 on Thursday night, claiming its first win in the competition since October by beating Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 76-74 in Italy.

Maccabi, which played without the injured Jordan Farmar and Devin Smith, was anything but impressive but improved to 2-6 and remained within striking distance of Darussafaka Istanbul in the battle for the fourth and final berth to the next round from Group D.

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The yellow-and-blue hosts Brose Baskets Bamberg next week before capping its regular season campaign at Darussafaka (3-4).

For that game to mean anything for Maccabi, Zan Tabak’s team will have to enter it no more than one game behind the Turks, who host Unicaja Malaga on Friday. Should Maccabi win its final two games and Darussafaka lose all of its remaining contests, Tel Aviv will advance.

The yellow-and-blue can also progress should it end the regular season with the same record as the Turks as long as it beats Darussafaka by more than 11 points to claim the tiebreaker after losing their first meeting of the season at Yad Eliyahu 84-73.

Darussafaka visits CSKA Moscow next week before hosting Maccabi.

Tel Aviv’s only previous win in the Euroleague this season also came against Sassari, which dropped to 0-8 on Thursday.

Maccabi led from start to finish in Italy and was ahead by seven points (73-67) entering the final minute. However, it ultimately only clinched the victory by the skin of its teeth, with former player Joe Alexander missing what could have been a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi with a season-high 19 points, with Guy Pnini scoring 14 points.

Former Maccabi player Marquez Haynes had 26 points for Sassari.

“The most important thing is that we won, even though it should have been far easier,” said Pnini. “We need to win at all cost.”

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