(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Another clutch performance by Jeremy Pargo ensured Maccabi Tel Aviv extended its BSL winning streak to eight games on Saturday night with an 85-83 victory over Hapoel Eilat at the newly-named Menora Mivtachim Arena.
Maccabi trailed by 14 points (71-57) entering the fourth quarter, but three straight three-pointers by Pargo handed the yellow-and-blue a lifeline and the American guard’s 15 points in all in the final 10 minutes ultimately secured the win for the hosts.
Pargo finished the night with 27 points, including four threes, as well as five assists and five rebounds in 30 minutes.
Pargo’s back-court partner Marques Haynes was also superb, contributing 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Maccabi, which was playing without star forward Devin Smith, who is suffering from an ankle sprain and was rested ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague game against Red Star Belgrade.
“We didn’t play well and we were drowsy,” said Maccabi coach Guy Goodes after his side improved to 12-2 in the BSL. “We didn’t do what we wanted to defensively for the first three quarters and trailed by double digits. The last quarter began with a threepoint barrage by Pargo and that gave the guys energy and they also began to play better defense. I’m pleased that we won a game like this because that shows our character.”
Elishay Kadir led Eilat with 17 points and 10 rebounds, with Afik Nissim scoring 17 points. Eilat got off to a flying start, leading 13-3 after fiveand- a-half minutes. The southerns remained in control throughout the first three periods, but were outscored 20-4 at a crucial stage and eventually fell to a 6-8 record.
Week 14 action will continue on Sunday when Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Jerusalem, with four more games to be played on Monday: Bnei Herzliya vs. Hapoel Holon; Hapoel Gilboa/Galil vs. Ironi Nahariya; Maccabi Ashdod vs. Ironi Ness Ziona; Maccabi Haifa vs. Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
Hapoel Tel Aviv will enter its new arena at the former site of the drive-in when it hosts Jerusalem. Jerusalem enters the encounter on the back of four straight losses.