Arroyo sends Maccabi to thrilling overtime victory

Euroleague Basketball: Despite poor game Maccabi manages to escape with second straight victory to the relief of the capacity crowd.

November 7, 2008 00:15
2 minute read.
Arroyo sends Maccabi to thrilling overtime victory

Carlos Arroyo 224.88. (photo credit:

A Carlos Arroyo jumper with 1.1 seconds to play in overtime gave Maccabi Tel Aviv an 82-80 victory against Le Mans at the Nokia Arena on Thursday night. Despite a poor game Maccabi somehow managed to escape with its second straight Euroleague victory to the relief of the capacity crowd. With just 10 seconds to play in regulation Maccabi trailed 73-70, but Marcus Brown saved the team with a clutch three and Arroyo clinched the victory in the most dramatic of fashions. Arroyo scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and passed five assists for Maccabi, with D'or Fischer adding 20 points and seven rebounds. David Bluthenthal, who spent three seasons and won the 2004 Euroleague title with Maccabi, led Le Mans with 23 points and seven rebounds. Bluthenthal scored the first points of the night and three more points by the former Maccabi forward gave the visitors a 7-3 lead. Arroyo finally found his scoring touch in the closing minutes of the first period and the Puerto Rican led Maccabi to within two points (20-18). In the final minute of the quarter, Le Mans managed to extend its advantage once more and Tel Aviv trailed 24-18 after Brian Chase sprinted down the court and laid the ball in the basket to beat the buzzer. In the first five minutes of the second period Maccabi only managed to score three points and Alain Koffi's turnaround jumper gave the visitors a seven-point cushion (28-21). A Jason Williams three with half of the quarter remaining sparked a Maccabi fight back and D'or Fischer's basket with three-and-a-half minutes to go to the interval brought the hosts within a single point (29-28). The offensive blitz, however, lasted for no more than 90 seconds and despite Le Mans's ineffectiveness Maccabi still trailed at the break (31-30). The hosts entered the final 10 minutes of the encounter still ahead by a point (54-53), but the lead was back in Le Mans hand early in the fourth quarter, setting up a thrilling final few minutes. Arroyo twice gave Maccabi a three point gap midway through the quarter, but each time the hosts were quickly pegged back and Chase's acrobatic basket with 2:19 to play opened a 69-66 Le Mans lead. Tel Aviv closed to within one point several time in the final two minutes, but was down by three points with 15 seconds to play after Chase's free throws. The hosts weren't down and out just yet, however, with Marcus Brown tying the score with a triple just nine seconds before the end of regulation to send the contest to an extra session. Both teams continued with their disorganized play in overtime and the lead exchanged hands several times in the extra period. An Arroyo basket gave Maccabi a 79-77 lead with a minute to play, but Dewarick Spencer hit a triple at the other end and the visitors were in front once more. The final 10 seconds would belong to Arroyo, however, and Maccabi somehow managed to claim the win. Also Thursday, Cibona Zagreb maintained its perfect record, defeating the previously unbeaten Olympiacos 85-76 in Croatia.

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