After seeing its Euroleague campaign end in dejection on Thursday night, Maccabi Tel Aviv will begin picking up the pieces when it visits Maccabi Kiryat Gat in BSL action on Sunday night.
Maccabi needed to beat Darussafaka by at least 11 points in Istanbul on Thursday in order to leapfrog the Turks and advance to the Euroleague Top 16. However, it could only manage a 70-66 win, meaning that for the first time in 22 years it will not be among the last 16 in European basketball’s premier club competition.
Maccabi embarrassingly tried to force overtime by intentionally missing free throws and turning the ball over in the final minute, but it was to no avail and only added another humbling episode to a bitter season.
“When you reach a situation that you need to win your last game on the road by 11 points that is very tough,” said club chairman Shimon Mizrahi.
“We led by as many as six points, but couldn’t take it any further. In the end we realized that only overtime can save us, and as long as the laws of the game allow it, what we did was legitimate. The reality is that we will now play in the Eurocup and we will try and go as far as possible.”