Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Guy Goodes.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered its fifth straight loss over all competitions on Saturday night, dropping to a particularly embarrassing 89-72 defeat against the weakest team in the BSL, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
After being swept by Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul in the Euroleague quarterfinals, Maccabi was hoping to return to winning ways and begin to gather momentum ahead of the playoffs.
However, after losing to Maccabi Rishon Lezion by 20 points in its previous BSL contest two weeks ago, the yellow-and-blue was once more humbled in local action on Saturday, and against the team in last place no less.
To make matters even worse, Maccabi, which fell to 23-5, is also set to be without center Sofoklis Schortsanitis in coming weeks, with the Greek center likely to be suspended for multiple games after being ejected late in the first half for elbowing Gilboa’s Marcus Lewis.
“We were abysmal. This was one of our worst games of the season,” said Maccabi coach Guy Goodes. “We didn’t play basketball and didn’t have the right energy. I was worried about this game because I knew we would suffer a hangover from the Euroleague, but I didn’t think it would be as bad as this.”
Sofo could face a punishment from the club as well as the Israel Basketball Association.
“Anyone who wants to be on this team has to come and play in every game,” Goodes said. “If you can’t do that than you have a problem.”
Alex Young had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Gilboa, which improved to 8-21 with just its third win in the past 17 games.
Sylven Landesberg finished with 20 points for Maccabi, which trailed by 10 points (43- 33) at the break before capitulating in the second half.
Elsewhere Saturday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion closed in on the No. 3 seed, improving to 17-13 with a 94-90 victory over Hapoel Holon. Shawn Dowson and Isaiah Swann scored 27 points each for Rishon, which opened a 1.5 game lead over Holon, which received 26 points and nine assists from Jordan Taylor.
On Friday, Hapoel Tel Aviv’s struggles continued after it lost at home 66-54 to Hapoel Eilat.
Kevin Palmer finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Eilat (14-15), while Durand Scott had