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 Haifa.

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.

“I’m 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 season.

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 defeat.

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.

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