Mac TA kick-starts Top 16 with win vs Fener
By ALLON SINAI
Yellow-and-Blue thrash Turks 91-73 to improve to 1-2, with Roth playing star role.
After playing a combined 27 minutes in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s first 12 Euroleague
games of the season, Moran Roth inspired the yellow-and-blue to a crucial 91-73
victory over Fenerbahce Ulker at Nokia Arena on Thursday night.
could not afford another defeat after beginning its Top 16 campaign 0-2 and it
required an unexpected display by its usually ignored Israeli guard to clinch
the win on Thursday.
Roth first entered the game with Maccabi leading by
a single point (42-41) with six minutes remaining in the third period and he
never left the floor, ending the night with eight points and six assists in 16
“This is a massive win we really needed,” said Roth. “I hope we
can treat the fans to many more moments like this.”
Ricky Hickman led
Maccabi with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists, with Shawn James scoring
22 points for the yellow-and-blue, which improved to 1-2 and visits Khimki
Moscow next Friday.
Bo McCalebb, Bojan Bogdanovic and Romain Sato had 15
points each for the Turks, who dropped to 0-3.
Maccabi scored almost at
will at the start of the night, with James’s three-point play opening a
seven-point gap (16-9) after five-and-a-half minutes.
wouldn’t be long before the yellow-and-blue’s offense began to stall and Fener
was down by just two points after the first quarter (23-21) following
Bogdanovic’s midcourt buzzer-beater.
It took Tel Aviv almost four minutes
to score its first point of the second period, but the visitors were anything
but accurate themselves, with Omer Onan’s basket giving the Turks a three-point
margin (26- 23), their biggest lead of the first half.
from its scoreless stretch with a quick 8- 0 run, taking a 31-26 advantage
thanks to a Yogev Ohayon jumper with 3:25 remaining in the first
However, Maccabi could not consolidate its lead, and the score was
tied at 36-36 at the break after Ulker’s Mike Batiste scored the final two
points of the period.
Maccabi scored the first six points of the second
half, but it once more failed to put real distance between itself and the
visitors, with Fener refusing to go down without a fight.
just 27 total minutes in Maccabi’s Euroleague campaign until Thursday, Tel Aviv
coach David Blatt sent Roth into the fray hoping he would spark his team off the
Roth did that, and much more, leading Tel Aviv to the
A Roth jumper capped an 11- 3 run which gave Maccabi a 53- 44
margin and the hosts took a five-point cushion into the final frame
Blatt kept his Israeli guard on court throughout the fourth
quarter and he repaid him with a game-winning performance.
points by Hickman took Maccabi’s gap to double-digits (64-54), with a Roth three
increasing the margin to 69-57 with six minutes left, a deficit from which Fener
could not return.