The USA outplayed Argentina to claim the basketball gold medal at the Maccabiah on Monday, winning 85-76 at Malha Arena.
After edging Israel in the semifinals, the Americans entered the final as massive favorites and Brad Greenberg’s players didn’t disappoint, capping a magical two months for the coach, who guided Maccabi Haifa to the BSL championship in June.
“Argentina is a really good team and I’ve got young kids, but they played great and I’m really proud of them,” said Greenberg, who will guide Hapoel Jerusalem next season. “I think that all our team will be tremendous ambassadors for Israel.”
Danny Rubin led the winners with 25 points, with Bryan Cohen scoring 17.
Andres Berman was superb for Argentina, leading all scorers with 29 points.
Israel took the bronze medal, defeating France 64-62 behind Adam Ariel’s 18 points.
The American women also triumphed on the basketball court on Monday, beating Israel 72-56 After the USA required overtime to overcome Israel in the preliminaries, the Americans recorded a one-sided victory on Monday.
Captain Jacqueline Kalin ended the game with 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds, hitting six three-pointers.
Alyssa Baron finished with 16 points and eight boards.
“I am excited, I can’t believe it yet, it feels amazing and I am so happy,” said Kalin, who was named MVP and will play in Ramat Hasharon next year.
Rebecca Ross and Orian Amsalem had 10 points each for Israel.
“I am very disappointed, we wanted to win,” said Israeli coach Nimrod Meital. “We were in shock at the start of the game and the Americans deserve the gold.”
The Canadians won the bronze medal.
The USA men and women also won the gold in the football finals. The women thrashed Israel 6-1, while the men beat Argentina 4-2. Canada took the bronze in both events, with the women claiming a 3-0 victory over Australia and the men defeating Mexico 3-2.
In tennis, Marcel Felder from Uruguay won the men’s gold by beating David Suafer from Australia 6-1, 6-4, while Israel’s Libby Mash took the women’s event with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Ma’ayan Sela.
Meanwhile, Paralympic events made their official debut in the Maccabiah this year.
Israeli swimmer Inbal Pizaro won two gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle, while Miriam De Koning, a gold medalist from the London and Beijing Paralympics, and the holder of two world records, won the bronze in the two heats mentioned above.
Itzik Mamistvalov from Israel won gold in the men 50m and 100m freestyle and the bronze in 50m backstroke.
Aiad Shelbi triumphed in the 50m and 100m backstroke.
Aharon Tzoyeg from Hong Kong won two medals, silver in the 50m butterfly and the bronze in 100m backstroke.
In table tennis, Tal Liebovitch from the USA took the gold in the standing category. Alexi Yermenko from Israel won the wheelchairs category.
Adam Kelerman from Australia, who participated in the London Paralympics, won the Maccabiah’s wheelchair tennis tournament. Kelerman beat Joel Dimbi from Canada in the final 6-1, 6-1.
In the doubles tournament, Kelerman and partner Amir Levi defeated Canadians Dimbi and Zalmnovich 6-2, 6-4.