Olympiacos the latest team to steamroll sorry Maccabi Tel Aviv

Maccabi had lost any realistic chance of finishing among the top eight and reaching the quarterfinal playoffs before Thursday’s game.

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March 2, 2017 23:49
2 minute read.
Sylven Landesberg

Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Sylven Landesberg was his team’s top scorer with 17 points in last night’s 82-71 defeat to Olympiacos in Euroleague action at Yad Eliyahu Arena.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

 
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Maccabi Tel Aviv’s disastrous Euroleague campaign is mercifully one game closer to being over after the yellow-and-blue suffered an 82-71 defeat to Olympiacos at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Thursday night.

Maccabi had lost any realistic chance of finishing among the top eight and reaching the quarterfinal playoffs before Thursday’s game and can’t wait for the Euroleague regular season to finally come to an end on April 6.

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Tel Aviv, which fell to an 8-16 record with its 12th defeat from the past 15 games, still has six more regular season contests to play until it can put this season’s depressing continental campaign behind it.

Sylven Landesberg had 17 points for Maccabi, with Erick Green leading five Olympiacos players in double figures with 16 points.

Maccabi will want to remember little from this season, experiencing another night to forget at Yad Eliyahu on Thursday.

After barely managing to win Euroleague games with a full roster this season, Maccabi never looked like it believed it had any chance of triumphing against Olympiacos with just eight fit senior players.

Veteran forward Devin Smith avoided a serious injury after hobbling out of Monday’s BSL win over Maccabi Haifa, but he is still set to miss up to two weeks with an ankle sprain. The yellow-andblue’s top scorer Andrew Goudelock is also still out with an ankle complaint after missing the game against Haifa and last week’s Euroleague defeat at CSKA Moscow.



With Joe Alexander and Quincy Miller also missing through injuries and new signings Diamon Simpson and Nimrod Levi still not ready to make contributions, Maccabi coach Ainars Bagatskis had few options against Olympiacos.

The Greeks closed to within one game of first place in the standings, improving to 17-7 despite playing without star play-maker Vassilis Spanoulis.

Olympiacos opened a four point lead (17-13) after 10 minutes and increased its advantage to eight by scoring the first four points of the second quarter. Maccabi responded with a 7-0 run to close to within a single point (21-20). But the yellowand- blue couldn’t complete a comeback, with the Greeks immediately surging back in front, a pattern which would repeat itself.

Olympiacos scored nine of the next 10 points to lead by nine (30-21) and built a double-digit cushion (38-28) for the first time with 1:16 minutes to play in the first half.

The visitors were ahead by eight points (40-32) at the break following Green’s buzzer-beater, but Maccabi was still within striking distance early in the third quarter when Landesberg’s three-pointer reduced the gap to six points (45-39).

The yellow-and-blue would come no closer though, with Olympiacos establishing a 15-point cushion (58-43) with a 13-4 run, a deficit Maccabi never threatened to erase.

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