Maccabi Tel Aviv's Lior Eliyahu 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv got back to winning ways with a confidence- boosting 83-63 victory at Olimpija Ljubljana on Saturday night, improving to 18- 1 in the Adriatic League.
After suffering a shock BSL loss to Maccabi Ashdod, Tel Aviv’s Euroleague ambitions were handed a significant blow on Thursday night with an 82-74 defeat at Bennet Cantu.
A disjointed and drowsy performance in Italy seriously complicated Maccabi’s situation, with the yellow-and-blue now needing a nine-point home win over Cantu this Thursday to keep its Euroleague fate in its own hands.
The game in Cantu was already Maccabi’s 50th of this term (compared to 55 throughout last season) and it showed. However, after easily dispatching of Ljubljana on Saturday, racing ahead of the Slovenians with a 24-15 third quarter, David Blatt’s men get a much-needed break ahead of Thursday’s crucial game due to a perfectly timed BSL bye. “Even though everything looks bleak, this was basically just one rough week,” said Blatt, who got 17 points from David Blu on Saturday, with Richard Hendrix adding 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“We have a chance to fix what went wrong over the past week and this win over Ljubljana was excellent preparation for our upcoming game against Cantu.”
In BSL action on Sunday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion, BC Habika’a visits Bnei Hasharon, Barak Netanya welcomes Maccabi Haifa and Ironi Ashkelon plays Hapoel Holon. Hapoel Jerusalem visits Ashdod on Monday.