Maccabi Tel Aviv's Alex Tyus 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv gave its fans plenty to look forward to in the upcoming season
with Monday’s emphatic 87-73 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv in the quarterfinals
of the Winner Cup at Nokia Arena.
With the BSL season starting on Sunday
and the Euroleague getting underway next Thursday, Maccabi was keen to show it
will be entering the new campaign with all guns blazing.
yellow-and-blue made a statement in the first half on Monday, surging to a
26-point gap by the break (54- 28) to book a meeting with Hapoel Eilat in
Hapoel Jerusalem thrashed Barak Netanya 88-71
earlier Monday and will face Hapoel Holon in the last four in Rishon Lezion on
Devin Smith was head and shoulders above his Maccabi teammates
in the derby, ending the game with 28 points and seven rebounds.
off to a good start. I think we’ve got to just keep working at staying
aggressive the whole game,” said Smith. “We are very hungry. We were practicing
for a long time so it feels good to play a game.” Sylven Landesberg scored 13
points for Maccabi, while Carlon Brown led Hapoel with 21 points and Jonathan
Skjoldebrand added 17 points.
Maccabi took its time to find its range,
giving Hapoel the illusion that it could compete with the
However, it wasn’t long before Maccabi showed its
superiority, effectively clinching the win early in the second
Maccabi coach David Blatt surprisingly began the game with young
American Jake Cohen, and the forward displayed plenty of promise, giving the
coach much to mull over with David Blu watching from the stands a day after
taking part in his first training session with Maccabi since coming out of
While Maccabi’s new names attracted most of the attention on
Monday, it was the reliable Smith who carried the team throughout the
Sofoklis Schortsanitis was unstoppable in local league play in his
first stint in yellow-and-blue and it seems likely that will be the case once
more in the coming campaign, with the Greek center giving Maccabi a double-digit
cushion (24-14) after powering to a three-point play.
points by Landesberg from two offensive rebounds to end the first quarter opened
a 31-16 gap, and despite the absence of Shawn James, Hapoel was never going to
mount a comeback.
A Smith three took the lead to 20 points (38-18) and
the second half was pure garbage time after Maccabi increased its margin to 26
points (54- 28) by the break.
In the first game of the evening, an early
13-2 run by Jerusalem, capped by a Derwin Kitchen basket, gave Hapoel a lead
(13-6) it wouldn’t relinquish.
Jerusalem’s gap reached double-digits
(26-16) by the end of the first period, with the Reds still comfortably in front
at halftime (40-31).
Hapoel, which was playing without the injured Yotam
Halperin, continued to dominate under the baskets in the second half and its
overall supremacy was never in doubt.
Jerusalem outrebounded Netanya 46-
27, ending the night with 20 offensive boards, and its gap reached 20 points
(66-46) late in the third quarter, allowing coach Brad Greenberg to play his
youngsters in the final 10 minutes.
Josh Duncan had 13 points for Hapoel,
with 18-year-old Adam Ariel adding 11 points and Zack Rosen scoring
Rashaun Freeman led Netanya with 23 points.
basketball news, Matan Harush was named as Maccabi Rishon Lezion’s new coach on
Monday, replacing Roni Bosani who surprisingly quit last week.