Euro hoops: McDonald punishes Maccabi Rishon

By SHARON SOLOMON
November 16, 2006 01:14

Former Mac Tel Aviv playmaker led Spain's Akasvayu Girona to a 76-66 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion.

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maccabi rishon 88. (photo credit: )

Arriel McDonald was back in Israel Wednesday night, but instead of starring for a local team, he led Spain's Akasvayu Girona to a 76-66 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion in a FIBA EuroCup Group D game. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv playmaker had 21 points and five assists. Rishon's Ryan Sydney was held out due to new FIBA Europe regulations and his absence didn't help the hosts' cause. The Spanish team opened up a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. McDonald ran the point with his usual efficiency, breaking down Rishon's defense and setting up his teammates for high-percentage shots. On the other hand, James Leon Williams missed two easy dunks for Rishon, which resulted in a 34-24 Girona lead at halftime. The visitors kept hitting uncontested baskets in the paint and took a 54-34 lead midway into the third quarter. Rishon cut the lead to eight (57-65) in the final minutes, but Girona rushed back with their starters and held on to win 76-66. Ironi Nahariya 98,CSU Asesoft Ploiesti 71 In a Group A game, Nahariya made a poor start, turning over the ball three times, which resulted in a quick 7-2 run by Ploiesti. The Romanian team took full advantage of the hosts' hapless defense to take a convincing 46-36 halftime lead. But Nahariya came storming back in the third quarter utilizing a full-court press. The comeback was completed when Juan Mendez hit a difficult, long-range three-pointer to give Nahariya a 49-47 lead for the first time in the game. Mendez continued to dominate in the deciding quarter, helping the hosts run away and register the impressive victory. The sharpshooter finished the game with 23 points, including three treys.


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