Local Hoops: Maccabi Tel Aviv holds off Afula comeback

Maccabi cruised in the first half, leading 56-38 at the break, and seemed to be on its way to yet another easy victory.

By
March 16, 2010 06:39
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Guy Pnini soars to the ba

basketball guy pnini 311. (photo credit: BSL)

Maccabi Tel Aviv survived a late scare to defeat Hapoel Afula 89-86 on Monday night and improve its BSL record to 16-1.

Maccabi cruised in the first half, leading 56-38 at the break, and seemed to be on its way to yet another easy victory.

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Tel Aviv was still ahead by 16 points (83-67) with just six minutes remaining in the game, but a stunning 18-2 run by Afula tied the encounter, only for the hosts to squander two opportunities to take the lead and drop to yet another defeat.

Guy Pnini scored 25 points for Tel Aviv, which hosts Hapoel Holon on Saturday night before it can finally turn its full attention to its Euroleague quarterfinal series against Partizan Belgrade, of which games one and two will be played at the Nokia Arena next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

“Afula deserves a lot of credit,” Pnini said. “We were a little drowsy at the start of the second half. Maybe we thought we had already wrapped up the win.”

Gur Porat led Afula with 20 points, but was not given the ball when his team had its chances to complete a comeback in the final minutes.


Afula scored the first four points of the night to take an early lead, but Maccabi answered back with a 12-0 run. The visitors increased their lead to 31-16 after 10 minutes and seemed to be in complete control after opening an 18-point margin at the break.



However, Afula fought back in the second half, only to come up just short in the moment of truth.

Earlier Monday, three former Maccabi Tel Aviv stars were among the 10 players selected to the Euroleague’s All-Decade Team.

Sarunas Jasikevicius, Anthony Parker and Nikola Vujcic were the three key players in Maccabi’s back-to-back Euroleague triumphs in 2004 and 2005 and were joined on the list by Dejan Bodiroga, Dimitris Diamantidis, J. R. Holden, Trajan Langdon, Juan Carlos Navarro, Theo Papaloukas and Ramunas Siskauskas.


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