Maccabi Tel Aviv will enter Thursday’s Euroleague opener at Unicaja Malaga
brimming with confidence after claiming the preseason Winner Cup for a third
straight year on Saturday, defeating Maccabi Ashdod 75-65 at Romema Arena in
Ashdod opened an early double-digit margin (13-2), but Tel Aviv
came right back and after two tight quarters blew the game open in the fourth
frame, with David Logan the star of the show once more for the yellow-and-blue.
Logan was Tel Aviv’s only player to end the game in double-figures,
scoring 24 points, hitting six of nine shots from three-point range.
a veteran so I think it is my responsibility to help some of the young guys to
come along,” said the 28- year-old, who played for Panathinaikos last
Diamon Simpson had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Ashdod, with
Chris Allen also scoring 20 points for coach Ofer Berkowitz, who will be pleased
with his team’s overall performance in recent days despite Saturday’s
Ashdod blitzed Tel Aviv at the start of the game the way it did
against Hapoel Jerusalem in the semis, opening a 13-2 lead thanks to Allen’s
three-pointer after just over four minutes of play.
Maccabi coach David
Blatt was forced to call a timeout and his players replied with an 8-0 run to
move back within striking distance.
A Simpson basket gave Ashdod a 17-13
margin at the end of the first quarter, but Tel Aviv took its first lead of the
night at the start of the second period and had a one-point advantage at the
break (40-39) thanks to Logan’s three.
A tight third quarter ended in a
two-point Ashdod lead (55-53), but for the second time in three nights Tel Aviv
would secure the win with a fourth-quarter run.
Yet again it was Logan
who almost singlehandedly led his team to the victory, netting three triples in
a 16-2 surge which opened an unassailable 69-59 margin.