Mac TA can’t squander great opportunity for W vs Besiktas

Tel Aviv suffered a heart-wrenching 78-77 defeat to Olympiacos to drop to 1-4 in Group F, missing several chances to clinch the win.

January 31, 2013 06:25
1 minute read.
Yogev Ohayon (left)

Yogev Ohayon (left) 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Tel Aviv will look to resurrect its Euroleague Top 16 campaign when it visits Besiktas JK in Istanbul on Thursday night.

Tel Aviv suffered a heart-wrenching 78-77 defeat to Olympiacos to drop to 1-4 in Group F last week, missing several chances to clinch the win in the closing minute.

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With nine games still to play in the Top 16, Maccabi has theoretically got plenty of time to make up lost ground. However, considering its mediocre displays over recent weeks and with already two home losses to its name, Tel Aviv will be able to kiss its lingering chances goodbye should it drop to another defeat in Turkey.

Maccabi’s only consolation entering Thursday’s encounter is that Besiktas has opened the Top 16 even worse than it has, losing all five of its games to date.

The Turks have scored the least amount of points from all the teams in the Top 16, averaging 61.2 points per game, with Curtis Jerrells (14.9 PPG) and Daniel Ewing (11.2 PPG) the side’s only players to average in double figures.

Besiktas is also last in the Top 16 in three-point percentage (26%), but Maccabi is only marginally more accurate from beyond the arc (29.3%).

“We squandered a couple of games in which we were in a winning position and couldn’t finish it off,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt.

“The players are disappointed, but that is a result of them knowing that they failed to achieve something they are capable of achieving. Nevertheless, they still believe we can advance.

“What we really need now is a win to lift our confidence. Plenty will still happen in this group.”

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