MACCABI TEL AVIV guard Doron Perkins.
(photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv website)
Maccabi Tel Aviv can turn its full attention to Thursday’s Euroleague opener at
Caja Laboral Vitora after beginning its BSL campaign with an easy 102-75 victory
over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil at the Nokia Arena.
Sunday night’s repeat of
last season’s BSL final, won by Gilboa, was one-sided from the start, with
Maccabi’s far superior roster opening a double-digit lead after less than four
minutes and remaining in full control for the remainder of the night.
two-hour stroll at Nokia allowed coach David Blatt to give 12 of his players a
run out ahead of Thursday’s stern test, with seven of Maccabi’s members ending
the game in double-figures.
Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 16 points in 16
minutes, with Lior Eliyahu adding 15, Guy Pnini getting 11 and Tal Burstein,
Doron Perkins, Richard Hendrix and David Blu all contributing 10 points for
Maccabi, which scored 31 of 43 from two-point range and seven of 19 from beyond
“I’m happy we got the game off to a strong start and went on to
win,” Eliyahu said. “I’m looking forward to returning to Vitoria on Thursday
after helping the team to the championship in my last game there last
Vitoria prepared for its game against Maccabi with an NBA tour.
Caja lost 108-85 to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday following Thursday’s
110-105 defeat to Memphis.
Also Sunday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion got its
season off on the right foot, beating Barak Netanya 75-67.
games will be played on Monday, with Hapoel Jerusalem visiting Bnei Hasharon,
Maccabi Ashdod welcoming Ironi Ashkelon and Maccabi Haifa going to Hapoel
At Nokia, Pnini scored the first points of the night from beyond
the arc and despite some careless play, it wasn’t long before Maccabi moved into
a commanding position.
Gilboa began to find its range later in the
period, but Lior Lubin’s men still trailed by 10 points after 10 minutes (24-14)
after Burstein’s buzzer-beating three-pointer.
Gilboa never looked like a
team capable of mounting a comeback and Blatt had a full 20 minutes to test and
rest his players ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague opener in Spain.
Rishon, the hosts led 17-13 after a nervy first period and the game was still
tight at the break, with Maccabi holding a six-point gap
However, Effi Birenboim’s team would begin the second half with
a 9-2 run to open a double-digit margin and was well placed with 10 minutes to
play, leading 63-52.
The fourth frame was anything but pretty, but Rishon
won’t care one bit after holding on for an important victory.
Clemente led Rishon with 17 points, with Aaron McGhee scoring 14 and taking 13
rebounds and Dwayne Mitchell also adding 14 points.
Adrian Banks and
Elton Brown scored 15 points each for Netanya.