Mac TA in deep trouble after 2nd defeat to Real

Maccabi coach David Blatt insisted that there is still plenty to play for in their Euroleague quarterfinal series.

April 14, 2013 03:52
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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Despite being outplayed by Real Madrid for the second time in three days on Friday night, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt insisted on Saturday that there is still plenty to play for in their Euroleague quarterfinal series.

Madrid handed Maccabi its heaviest Euroleague defeat in 22 years in Game 1 of the best-of-five series with a 79-53 thrashing last Wednesday.

The Spaniards erased a 12-point deficit in the series opener, but raced out to an early double-digit lead (16-6) on Friday and remained in control until the final buzzer, eventually winning 75-63.

Maccabi hosts Game 3 at Nokia Arena on Tuesday night, hoping to force another encounter in Tel Aviv two days later.

“We played two tough road games against an excellent team and we find ourselves down 2-0, but lets see what we can do at home,” said Blatt upon the team’s arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Saturday. “I know these guys, and no one is going to give up. We need to play better and be more determined on Tuesday. I also hope that we will start scoring a little better.”

After hitting just a measly 34 percent of its shots in Game 1, Maccabi improved to a poor 40% (24-of-59) on Friday, but far more worrying, it was once more outrebounded and outhustled by the Spaniards.

“We played better than in Game 1, but not good enough to win,” added Blatt. “There is no doubt that Real is a deeper and stronger team, but we have already beaten better teams than us this season and we will have to find a way to overcome Madrid on Tuesday.”

David Logan scored 19 points for Maccabi, with Shawn James adding 13 points.

Sergio Llull scored a career-high 26 points for Madrid.

“We did a very good job this week,” said Llull. “We worked out very hard and we prepared for the game very well. We knew in each moment what we had to do. We started strong, better than the first game. Maccabi played better as well, but again our rebounding and defensive play was the most important key to get the victory.”

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