Maccabi Tel Aviv swingman Sonny Weems.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s hopes of reaching the Euroleague quarterfinals suffered yet another blow on Friday night with an 80-75 defeat at Real Madrid.
Maccabi dropped to a 6-11 record, three games back of eighth place in the standings, giving Real a run for its money for much of the night, only to struggle when it mattered most once more.
The yellow-and-blue entered the game as a firm underdog, but trailed by just one point (37- 36) after a tight first half and led by as many as 10 points (53- 43) following an encouraging start to the third frame. But Real closed back within three points (56-53) with 10 minutes to play and went on a 12-2 run (80-73) in the final minutes to improve to a 12-5 record with a third straight win.
Andrew Goudelock and Victor Rudd had 18 points each for Maccabi, with Quincy Miller adding 14.
Rudy Fernandez and Gustavo Ayon scored 14 points apiece for Real, with teenage sensation Luka Doncic amassing 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to earn MVP honors for Round 17 of the Euroleague regular season.
“This is a painful defeat,” said Maccabi coach Ainars Bagatskis.
“We prepared well and played well for most of the game. We began to hesitate at the start of the fourth quarter. We spoke about this a lot and we should have been more patient. We can’t hesitate and rush, and then make bad decisions.”
The loss to Real was Maccabi’s seventh in the past 11 games over all competitions. The yellow- and-blue will aim to bounce back against Hapoel Holon in BSL action on Monday before hosting Red Star Belgrade in a crucial Euroleague game on Thursday. Maccabi was thrashed 83-58 in Belgrade last month.
“I don’t want to talk about the game against Red Star Belgrade. All I care about right now is the game against Holon,” said Bagatskis.
“After the game in Holon we will talk about Red Star. The players remember well what happened when they last played against Red Star.”
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