Maccabi Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
One down, two to go.
Maccabi Tel Aviv thrashed Barak Netanya 106-70 in
the State Cup final at Nokia Arena on Thursday night, picking up the first of
what it hopes will be three titles this season.
Maccabi opened a slender
lead in the first period and effectively secured the win after beginning the
second quarter with a 17-0 run.
Netanya never came close to mounting a
comeback and Tel Aviv lifted the trophy for a second straight year.
season, Maccabi fell short in the BSL and the Euroleague after claiming the
But the yellow-and-blue has played superb basketball throughout this
campaign under the guidance of coach David Blatt, and besides being a massive
favorite to reclaim the Israeli championship, Tel Aviv also feels it has a real
chance to be take the European title.
The final was marred by a massbrawl
in the third period after the game was long decided.
Romeo Travis began a
needles fight on-court with just under four minutes to play in the third
quarter, throwing a punch at David Blu and sparking a skirmish between both
Travis and Blu, as well as Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Adrian
Banks, who both also throw punches in the skirmish, were ejected.
exactly what we said we would,” Blatt said. “We came and played our regular game
and we are happy to come through this event.”
Guy Pnini led Maccabi with
21 points, with Sofo scoring 16, Milan Macvan adding 13 and Lior Eliyahu and Blu
contributing 11 points each.
Banks had 22 points for Netanya, with Elton
Brown adding 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Schortsanitis scored the first
points of the night and Maccabi never lost the lead.
Tel Aviv held
Netanya to just six points in the first six minutes of the quarter and a Eliyahu
basket midway through the period opened a doubledigit margin
Richard Hendrix’s free-throws increased the gap to 20-6, but
Netanya ended the quarter with an 8-2 run and was still in contention after 10
After four straight points by Banks, Chuck Eidson and Sofo
missed four successive shots from the line and Maccabi was ahead by just eight
points (22-14) after one quarter.
However, Tel Aviv regained its focus at
the start of the second period and all but clinched the win with its trademark
suffocating defense and fastbreak offense.
Blu’s three to start the frame
began Maccabi’s 17-0 run, with Pnini especially enjoying his team’s surge,
hitting shots from all over the floor and capping the run with a three to open a
It took Netanya almost six minutes to score its first
points of the period, but Eric Alfasi’s team never threatened to challenge
Maccabi, which led 49-26 at the break after another Blu triple.
seemed to be sailing to the win in the second half until Travis decided to
attack Blu, spoiling what should have been a truly festive evening.