Euroleague Basketball: Mac TA breaks out of funk in Russia

Ricky Hickman has 14 points, six assists and five rebounds for Maccabi, in its 73-58 victory over Lokomotiv Kuban.

November 3, 2013 01:38
1 minute read.
Macabbi Tel Aviv's Ricky Hickman

Macabbi Tel Aviv's Ricky Hickman 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt hailed Friday’s 73-58 Euroleague win at Lokomotiv Kuban as nothing short of critical to his team’s prospects this season.

Maccabi entered the game still reeling from last week’s stunning BSL upset at the hands of Ironi Ness Ziona, but it built a 14-point gap (46- 32) by halftime and was never in danger of being caught after David Blu’s three-pointer opened a 20-point margin (52-32) early in the second half.

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“We were ready from a physical, mental and tactical standpoint,” said Blatt after seeing his team improve to 2-1 in Group D. “The players executed exactly what we asked them to at every stage of the game. But the most important part is that the players displayed passion, will and Maccabi pride.

“This was a very important game for us, really critical, result-wise as well as psychologically,” added Blatt. “I hope that this great performance will help us become an excellent team down the road.”

Ricky Hickman had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds for Maccabi, with Joe Ingles recording his first Euroleague double-double, registering 14 points and 10 boards.

Shawn James added 11 points in 13 minutes, with Sofoklis Schortsanitis scoring 10 points.

Mantas Kalnietis was Kuban’s only player in double figures, scoring 13 points for the previously unbeaten Russians.

“The coaches prepared us superbly for this game and we executed everything they told us,” said Hickman. “We were aggressive throughout the game and played as a unit. We fought for every ball and mainly played for our pride.”

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