Maccabi Tel Aviv's Lior Eliyahu 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After suffering its first defeat in 19 games in all competitions against Barcelona on Thursday, Maccabi Tel Aviv wasted little time in getting back to winning ways, beating Siroki of Bosnia 84-69 at Nokia Arena on Saturday night to improve to 17-1 in the Adriatic League.
Maccabi battled Barca for three quarters in the Euroleague Top 16 on Thursday before being outplayed in the fourth frame on the way to a 71-57 loss.
However, David Blatt’s men didn’t let their heads drop following the disappointing defeat, pulling ahead in the third period on Saturday for a confidence-boosting win.
Maccabi led by a mere three points (37-34) at the break, but it built a double-digit cushion by the end of the third quarter (61-50) and cruised to the victory in the final 10 minutes.
After failing to score a single point against Barca, Lior Eliyahu netted 18 on Saturday, with Keith Langford also scoring 18 and Richard Hendrix contributing 17 points and eight rebounds.
“It was important for us to bounce back after Thursday,” said Blatt, whose team scored six three-pointers and passed 20 assists on Saturday after being limited by Barca to zero triples and a meager five assists.
“It is not easy to recover mentally after what happened on Thursday and the players deserve credit for that.”
Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Ashdod in the BSL on Monday before traveling to Italy for another crucial Euroleague showdown, this time against Bennet Cantu.
Hapoel Jerusalem will have somewhat of a new look when it welcomes Barak Netanya to Malha Arena on Sunday night.
After suffering yet another humbling defeat last week, falling at the hands of Ironi Ashkelon, Hapoel realized that it had to shake up its roster to have any hope of salvaging something from this season.
Center Jarvis Varnado asked to be released and was given a positive answer, while Demetri McCamey, who only played four games for the side, is on his way out after the signing of Ramel Bradley from Ashdod.
Bradley joined Ashdod at the start of last season, averaging 17.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 12 games so far in 2011/12.
“I’m happy to be joining Hapoel Jerusalem. This is a big challenge for me,” Bradley said. “I’ve got plenty of motivation and energy to succeed.”
Rami Hadar guides Maccabi Haifa for the first time on Sunday when the Greens host Ashkelon.
Hadar joined from Haifa’s National League affiliate Maccabi Hod Hasharon and will be hoping his new side can snap its seven-game losing streak against an Ashkelon team brimming with confidence following its victory over Jerusalem last week.
Also Sunday, two of the league’s in-form teams face each other when Hapoel Gilboa/Galil visits Hapoel Holon, while Maccabi Rishon Lezion hosts Bnei Hasharon.