Sofoklis Schortsantis of Maccabi Tel Aviv goes up for a shot.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
After claiming an impressive Euroleague win over Real Madrid 48 hours previously, Maccabi Tel Aviv cooled down with a harder-than-expected 85-75 BSL victory over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Saturday night.
Maccabi notched its 12th consecutive league win to improve to 16-2, but only after overcoming a scare against one of the BSL’s worst teams.
Gilboa closed within a mere two points (77-75) inside the final two minutes of the contest, but Maccabi would clinch the win by scoring the final eight points of the night for its 19th victory from the last 20 games over all competitions.
The yellow-and-blue was outstanding in a 90-86 win over Real in Thursday’s repeat of last season’s Euroleague final, and while it couldn’t display the same form on Saturday, coach Guy Goodes was delighted his side extended its winning streak ahead of this week’s visit to Galatasaray in Euroleague action.
“The guys were drained both physically and mentally and we had a tough time, but I’m happy that we eventually managed to lift our defensive play for a few minutes and clinch the win,” said Goodes.
“We are experiencing a good period, but I don’t think we have peaked yet.”
Brian Randle and Jake Cohen led five Maccabi players in double figures with 15 points each, while Marcus Lewis scored 20 points for Gilboa, which fell to 5-13 with its sixth consecutive defeat.
“It is very disappointing to lose after coming so close, but at least this game gives us some hope,” said Gilboa’s under-fire coach Barak Peleg.
On Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem (11-6) will aim to build on its recent improved form when it visits Maccabi Ashdod (4-13). Jerusalem is targeting its third win from four games after losing five in a row, while rock-bottom Ashdod is hoping to record its second straight win under new coach Tzvika Sherf. Jerusalem currently holds a one-game lead in second place over Maccabi Rishon Lezion, Ironi Ness Ziona, Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Tel Aviv, which visits Bnei Herzliya (6-11) on Sunday.
On Monday, Ness Ziona (10-7) hosts Hapoel Eilat (8-9), Rishon (10-7) welcomes Ironi Nahariya (5-12) and Holon (10-7) visits Maccabi Haifa (8-9).
Steamrolling Maccabi TA makes hard work of Gilboa • By ALLON SIN AI Maccabi Tel Av iv guard Marquez Haynes scored 11 points in his team’s 85-75 win last night over Hapoel Gilboa/ Galil in BSL action.