Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt 390 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters )
Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 18-2 in the BSL on Saturday night with an 88-76 victory over BC Habika’a, but the real cause for celebration for the yellow-and-blue was Ironi Ashkelon’s approval to postpone the game between the teams scheduled for Sunday.
With a decisive Euroleague quarterfinal Game 5 coming up against Panathinaikos in Athens on Thursday, the last thing Maccabi needed was two league games over a 24-hour span.
Maccabi approached the BSL and Ashkelon with a request to rearrange the encounter and they agreed to postpone it to April 19 so that the yellow-and-blue would have as much time as possible to prepare for Thursday’s crunch showdown.
“I think that considering everything that has happened to us we did quite well tonight,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt after seeing his team return to winning ways following Thursday’s heartbreaking 78-69 loss to Pao in Game 4.
“I would really like to thank Ashkelon for agreeing to postpone the game. It shows that the Israeli teams are willing to go out of their way to help each other in European competition.
“It is good we ended this game without any injuries. There’s nothing we can really take from this game ahead of Thursday.”
Lior Eliyahu led Maccabi with 18 points, while Keith Langford added 16 and Yogev Ohayon contributed 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Tel Aviv, which opened a double-digit gap in the first quarter and never looked back.
Paul Delaney scored 22 for Habika’a.
In BSL action on Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem visits Hapoel Gilboa/Galil, Maccabi Haifa hosts Maccabi Ashdod and Bnei Hasharon faces Barak Netanya.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion hosts Hapoel Holon on Monday.