Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Guy Goodes (center) couldn’t hide his frustration with his team’s performance in last night’s 100-69 defeat at CSKA Moscow..
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Maccabi Tel Aviv was handed on Thursday night a harsh reminder of the massive gap it will have to bridge to compete with Europe’s best this season, suffering a humbling 100-69 defeat to CSKA Moscow in its Euroleague opener in Russia.
Maccabi was aiming to beat CSKA in Moscow for the first time since 2004. However, it was instead embarrassed by the hosts, capitulating in the second period and failing to even put up a fight in the second half, losing in the Russian capital for a sixth straight time.
Tel Aviv dropped to its second- heaviest defeat in Europe since 1991 after losing to CSKA in Moscow by 35 points in February 2014.
“We had a very bad game,” said Maccabi coach Guy Goodes. “We were poor from very early on. We were punished for every mistake we made and allowed them to score almost 70 percent from twopoint range, which is unbelievable.
We didn’t move the ball on offense and didn’t reach good shots. And when we did have good shots we missed them. This is a very painful loss, but we are looking ahead and we will fix the mistakes.”
Jordan Farmar had 17 points for the apathetic Maccabi, with fellow guards Taylor Rochestie and Yogev Ohayon adding 14 and 13 points, respectively. Nando de Colo led five CSKA players in double figures with 17 points. Moscow shot 67.4 percent from the field on the night, hitting 31-of-46 shots.
Maccabi’s defense was non-existent in the first period, with the hosts connecting on 11-of-15 fieldgoal attempts, including three triples, while not even committing a single turnover. Tel Aviv got off to an encouraging start, but an eight-minute scoreless run saw CSKA seize control by the break before dominating the second half.
Moscow ended the first quarter with a 7-0 run to take a nine-point cushion (29-20) into the second frame. The Russians scored just 2-of-11 shots to start the second period, but Maccabi only finally netted its first points of the quarter with 3:25 minutes remaining, by which time the hosts already led by 14 points (34-20).
CSKA took a 15-point gap into the second half, which was no more than garbage time. Maccabi came no closer than 10 points and Goodes was given plenty to mull over after just a single game.
Mac TA legend Huffman passes away at 40 One of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s greatest ever players, Nate Huffman, passed away at the age of 40 on Thursday, only several weeks after discovering he was ill with terminal cancer.
Huffman was diagnosed with stage IV bladder cancer, with the cancer spreading throughout his body to his lymph nodes, liver and lungs.
“Maccabi bows its head today at the death of Nate Huffman, one of the greatest players this club has known, at only 40 years old. He was a great player on the court and an amazing man off it. Our hearts ache. Our sincerest condolences to his family,” Maccabi said in a statement.
The Battle Creek, Michigan native joined Maccabi from Spanish club Fuenlabrada in the summer of 1999. In three seasons with Maccabi, he helped the team to three local championships, three State Cups and one European FIBA SuproLeague title in 2001, with the yellow-and-blue reaching the Final Four in all three of his seasons in Tel Aviv.
After his success in Israel, he was signed in 2002 to a three-year, $5.2 million contract by the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. He played just seven games for the team due to a knee injury before being released by Toronto in January 2003.
Maccabi players wore black ribbons in honor of Huffman in Thursday night’s game in Moscow, with a minute’s silence being held during the halftime break.
“Nate was a giant – not only in height and playing ability, but also in heart, radiating love and warmth to everyone around him. We will miss him very much,” said Maccabi chairman Shimon Mizrahi.