Maccabi Tel Aviv fans got their last look at Jordan Farmar at Nokia Arena on
Saturday night when the yellow-and-blue improved to 8-0 in the Adriatic League
with a 96-89 victory over Cedevita Zagreb.
Farmar is expected to return
to the US sometime next week after the NBA and its players reached a tentative
deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that paves the way for a 66-game
season starting on Christmas Day.
The departure of the New Jersey Nets
guard will leave a massive void at Maccabi, with Farmar leading the team in
points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes in the Euroleague this
“This has been an experience which changed my life,” Farmar said
on Saturday. “I feel like I’m a better person and a better player for this
Farmar ended Saturday’s game with 15 points and 13 assists
and said he would miss Maccabi and Israel, although he believes the team will be
able to manage without him.
“I had a great time, I’m glad to go out on
top,” Farmar added. “I’m happy to be going back. I love these guys. They really
hold a special place in my heart and I hope they feel the same about me. It’s a
special place and a special organization.
“I have a lot of hopes and
great expectations for them. It’s not just me out there. It is a group of guys
who work very hard every day. I think they are going to be just
Saturday’s developments in the NBA also ensured that Omri Casspi
will not join Maccabi in January, as had been previously
Maccabi got Saturday’s encounter off to a surprisingly slow
start, with a Levour Warren three-pointer opening a 13-4 Zagreb lead after three
Cedevita led by as many as 11 points (24-13) at one stage, but
Guy Pnini finally broke out of his scoring slump in the second quarter, hitting
every shot he took in the first 20 minutes to finish the half with 19 points and give Maccabi a 54-44 lead at the break.
However, Zagreb erased the
deficit in the third quarter and regained the lead early in the fourth frame
(75-74), only for Maccabi to secure the win with a 10-2 run, allowing coach
David Blatt to give Farmar a standing ovation as he left the Nokia
Pnini led Tel Aviv with 26 points while Richard Hendrix scored
Farmar is expected to play for Tel Aviv when it visits Maccabi Haifa
in BSL action on Monday, and with the team’s next games in the Euroleague and
Adriatic League also being on the road, it is likely he has played for Maccabi
at Nokia for the last time.
On Saturday, Hapoel Holon hosted Maccabi
Ashdod in the BSL.
On Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion welcomes the winless
Barak Netanya, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil visits Bnei Hasharon and league-leader Ironi
Ashkelon faces BC Habika’a, which released star forward Danilo Pinnock last week
after he failed to tell the team that he was questioned by police in suspicion
of possession of marijuana.