Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Gal Mekel (right) started for just the third time in the Euroleague this season, but had just three points to go with three turnovers in a 71-67 home defeat to Red Star Belgrade..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Maccabi Tel Aviv is heading for another lost season in the Euroleague after dropping to yet another dejecting defeat on Thursday night, falling to a 71-67 loss to Red Star Belgrade at Yad Eliyahu Arena.
Maccabi suffered its eighth defeat in the past nine games in the competition, dropping to a 6-12 record after being outscored 9-0 in the final four minutes of the contest.
The yellow-and-blue was thrashed by 25 points in its first meeting of the season with Red Star and was desperate to gain a measure of revenge, as well as a crucial win. But instead it was booed off the floor by its fans once more and is quickly losing all hope of reaching the playoffs.
“We tried to do our best, but sometimes that is not enough,” said Maccabi coach Ainars Bagatskis.
“Our leaders were tired in the final minutes. One or two actions or wrong decisions cost you the game.”
Andrew Goudelock had 19 points for Maccabi, with Colton Iverson adding 13 for the yellow- and-blue, which visits Galatasaray in Istanbul next Tuesday before hosting Unics Kazan two days later.
Maccabi also faces Hapoel Tel Aviv in the derby in BSL action on Saturday.
Stefan Jovic finished with 14 points and seven assists for Red Star, which improved to 10-8 with its sixth win from the past seven games.
Maccabi got off to a decent start, holding a one-point edge after 10 minutes (17-16) and scoring the first eight points of the second quarter to open a nine-point margin (25-16). But Red Star wouldn’t allow Maccabi to build a significant margin, entering the break just one point back of the yellow-andblue (34-33).
The visitors took their first lead since the first period four minutes into the second half, with Red Star’s advantage reaching five points (46-41) following a 9-0 run.
However, after scoring just seven points in the first sixand- a-half minutes of the third frame, Sonny Weems and especially Goudelock ensured the hosts entered the fourth quarter with momentum on their side.
A 13-2 run to end the third period, which included eight points from Goudelock and five from Weems, gave the yellow-and-blue a 54-48 lead, but two Red Star three-pointers to start the final frame quickly erased the margin.
Maccabi still held a slender advantage for much of the period, only to yet again lose its head when it mattered most.
A Jovic lay-up followed by a Ognjen Kuzmic dunk with 59 seconds to play gave the Serbs a three-point lead (70-67) from which the lackluster yellow-andblue couldn’t recover.