Mac TA ties series on Pargo prayer

Thrilling encounter decided on last-second jumper, yellow-and-blue beats Vitoria 83-81.

March 25, 2011 06:02
2 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv center Sofoklis Schortsanitis

Maccabi Tel Aviv 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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A Jeremy Pargo basket with 1.3 seconds to play gave Maccabi Tel Aviv an 83-81 win over Caja Laboral Vitoria in Spain on Thursday, tying the best-offive Euroleague quarterfinal series at 1-1.

Maccabi seemed to be heading to a second straight defeat after trailing by four points with a minute to play, but Lior Eliyahu cut the deficit with a three-point play and Pargo hit a dramatic jumper to give Tel Aviv a crucial road win.

Maccabi hosts Games 3 and 4 at Nokia Arena next week and two home wins will see it advance to the Final Four.

Sofoklis Schortsanitis led Maccabi with 22 points, with David Blu scoring 18 and Pargo adding 13.

Esteban Batista and Fernando San Emeterio had 17 points for Caja.

After scoring just four points in 13 minutes in Game 1, Sofo had a ax to grind on Thursday and he was unstoppable in the first half.

The Greek giant scored Maccabi’s first nine points of the night, but he got little help from his teammates, and Fernando San Emeterio’s threepoint play opened a sevenpoint margin (16-9) midway through the first quarter.

However, Maccabi came right back and Guy Pnini tied the score at 19-19.

Mirza Teletovic’s three-pointer to beat the buzzer ensured the hosts were still ahead after 10 minutes (22-19) and Vitoria didn’t need long to extend its margin into double-figures.

David Logan’s triple with four minutes to play opened a 40-29 advantage, but Maccabi was still within striking distance at the break (46-38) after scoring the final four points of the half.

Tel Aviv continued to eat away at the deficit as the third period progressed and a Doron Perkins dunk with 6:29 to go in the quarter tied the score (51-51).

There would be little to separate the teams for the remainder of the frame and David Blu’s three with 1:30 to go gave Maccabi its first lead of the night (63-62).

A pair of accurate free throws from Marcelinho Huertas ensured the hosts were still in front with 10 minutes to play (66-65), and Vitoria’s defense limited Tel Aviv to just one point in the first five minutes of the final frame.

An Esteban Batista dunk gave the hosts a 71-66 lead and after Sofo fouled out, San Emeterio scored twice from the line to give Caja a 73-66 advantage.

However, just when it seemed like the game was running away from Maccabi, Blu caught fire once more and his three with 3:05 remaining tied the score at 75-75.

A huge Teletovic three with 1:40 to play put Vitoria back in the lead (80-77), but a threepoint play by Eliyahu with 58 seconds left brought Maccabi within a single point (81-80).

Jeremy Pargo then tied the score from the line with 35 seconds to go and hit the dramatic winner to give Maccabi a massive win it had to have.

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