Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Jeremy Pargo scored 21 points in his team’s 69-66 victory over Flamengo in the first leg of the Intercontinental Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
(photo credit: FIBA AMERICAS)
Despite its three-point win over Flamengo in the first leg of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup on Friday night, new Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Guy Goodes is expecting an improved performance by his team in the return leg in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Maccabi eked out a 69-66 victory over the Liga de las Americas champion at the Gimnasio Maracanazinho Arena in Rio on Friday, closing in on a second Intercontinental Cup in club history, with the yellow-and-blue winning its first in Sarajevo in 1980.
“We must play better than this,” insisted Goodes. “Even though this is a new squad and we haven’t trained that much I expected more from my team. I’m sure that we will play better in the future, but we haven’t got time. We need to win now, especially as we are playing for a title.”
The Intercontinental Cup, which dates back to 1966, was dormant for nearly two decades before its revival last season, when then Euroleague champion Olympiacos Piraeus defeated Pinheiros Sky.
Flamengo led by as many as 10 points (33-23) in the second period of the first leg, with Maccabi cutting the deficit to 35-30 at the break.
The Brazilians still held a five-point gap (51-46) entering the final 10 minutes, but Maccabi rallied in the fourth frame behind Jeremy Pargo, who scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the quarter.
Guy Pnini added 11 points, while Sylven Landesberg finished with 10, all of them in the second half. Olivinha do Nacimiento finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds for Flamengo.
“First half we kind of went through the motions,” admitted Pargo. “But we got a big win and we have another big game coming Sunday.”