Yellow-and-blue drops heartbreaker at Red Star

Hapoel Tel Aviv loses on late 3

Oded Katash and Maccabi Tel Aviv are in the middle of a grueling stretch, with one big game after the next, both locally and in the EuroLeague. (photo credit: Dov Halickman)
Oded Katash and Maccabi Tel Aviv are in the middle of a grueling stretch, with one big game after the next, both locally and in the EuroLeague.
(photo credit: Dov Halickman)

Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered a painful 69-68 defeat at the hands of Red Star Belgrade as the yellow-and-blue couldn’t find a way to pull out the victory coming up empty on its final two possessions of the game.

Both teams came into the matchup exhausted after wins earlier in the week, with the yellow-and-blue defeating Olympiacos 90-84 and the hosts downing ALBA Berlin 88-84.

Red Star came out flying in the first quarter as Luca Vildoza was active from deep for the hosts while Lorenzo Brown did the same for Oded Katash’s team, but the Serbian squad took a 27-18 lead after 10 minutes. Wade Baldwin got busy in the second quarter and Bonzie Colson also went from deep to help cut the advantage to 36-29 by halftime.

Roman Sorkin began to score at will in the paint to give Maccabi a short-lived 39-38 lead, but Nemanja Nedovic sent Dusko Ivanovic’s team back in front 50-47 after three quarters.

Hassan Martin and Ben Bentil scored early in the final frame, but Brown and Sorkin brought Maccabi to within 69-68 with less than a minute left.

 DEAN DAVID (21) celebrates after his second goal of the game sealed Maccabi Haifa’s 2-0 Premier League home victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv at Sammy Ofer Stadium.  (credit: MAOR ELKASLASI) DEAN DAVID (21) celebrates after his second goal of the game sealed Maccabi Haifa’s 2-0 Premier League home victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv at Sammy Ofer Stadium. (credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)

However, Red Star’s defense held firm while the yellow-and-blue’s poor decision making on the last two possessions of the game sent it to a second loss in Belgrade in less than a week.

Brown paced Maccabi with 23 points and Sorkin added 16 points in the loss, while Nedovic scored 12 points and Martin chipped in with 11 points in the win. Up next for the yellow-and-blue is the Israeli classico against Hapoel Jerusalem on Sunday night.

Hapoel Tel Aviv loses 85-83

Meanwhile, in Spain, Hapoel Tel Aviv just came up short 85-83 at Gran Canaria as AJ Slaughter drilled home a game-winning triple to take the dramatic EuroCup home win.

The loss dropped the Reds’ record down to 3-2 as they will look to get back onto the winning track with a home Israeli league game against Hapoel Galil Elyon on Saturday night and a clash at the Drive-In Arena versus Buducnost on Tuesday.

Gran Canaria grabbed an early double-digit lead, but fine play by Xavier Munford and Jordan McRae cut the advantage down to 26-24 after 10 minutes.

John Shurna and Slaughter continued to score for the hosts as Jake Lakovic’s team bumped the lead up to 52-45 by halftime.

Munford and McRae kept scoring for Danny Franco’s squad and by the end of the third quarter Hapoel had cut the lead to 63-60.

J’Covan Brown took control of the game to start the fourth quarter as he scored at will to give the Reds a 83-75 lead with under four minutes remaining in regulation time. But Gran Canaria went on a 10-0 run that saw Slaughter go from deep with four seconds left to win the game.

Munford led the way with 24 points, McRae added 17 points and Brown dropped 15 points in the defeat. Shurna paced the hosts with 18 points and Slaughter added 12 points in the victory.

“It’s an unfortunate loss but we showed that we can compete on the road against a team like Gran Canaria.”

Danny Franco

“It took us time to adjust to the Spanish tempo in the first half,” Franco said. “We had a much better defensive effort in the second half. It’s an unfortunate loss but we showed that we can compete on the road against a team like Gran Canaria.”

Also, Hapoel Holon fell to Galatasaray 88-75 in Champions League action as the Turkish squad dominated the fourth quarter to not only take over first place but also earn a point-differential advantage should a tie-breaker be necessary.

Guy Goodes’s squad, which is now 3-1, needed to either win or lose by less than 10 points in order to hold on to the tie-breaker over Andreas Pistiolis’s team which is also at 3-1.

However, Holon was unable to accomplish either as it is now in the precarious position of having to participate in the Play-In Playoff for a place in the round-of-16 Group Stage instead of directly advancing with a first-place finish. Each team has two games remaining in group stage play.

Dylan Ennis scored 18 first-half points for Gala while Erick Green scored 12 points for Holon, but the hosts took a 45-39 lead into halftime. Goodes’s club narrowed the gap down to just 1-point (60-59) after 30 minutes of play, but Pistiolis’s squad ran away in the final frame for the win.

Erick Green led the purples with 15 points, Marvin Jones added 13 points and Chris Johnson chipped in with 12 points in the loss. Ennis was the game’s high scorer with 24 points, Angelo Caloairo scored 18 points and Sadik Kabaca added 17 points in the win.

Elsewhere, Hapoel Haifa punched its ticket to the second round of the FIBA Europe Cup with a 77-70 home victory over OCS Swans Gmunden.

The Carmel Reds jumped out to a 27-21 lead after the first quarter and never looked back to take the victory as five of Sharon Drucker’s players finished the game in double digits.

The win moved Haifa into first place in their group with a 4-1 record with one game remaining.

Devonte Upson led the way with a 15 point-15 rebound double-double, Kadeem Allen added 15 points, while Amit Simhon chipped in with 12 points, Anthony Hickey with 10 points and eight assists along with 10 points from Will Rayman in the win. Urald King paced the visitors with 22 points in the loss.

Finally, Hapoel Galil Elyon came up short 95-78 at Bamberg in FIBA Europe Cup action.

With the Germans ahead by only a pair of points (69-67) after 30 minutes, Bamberg’s Israeli coach Oren Amiel along with his Sabra big man Gaby Chachashvili came through with a big fourth quarter to take the win and send Barak Peleg’s team back to Israel with the loss.

Galil Elyon is in second place in Group A tied with two other teams with the identical record.

Jalen Hudson paced the visitors with 18 points, Deishuan Booker added 17 points and Bryce Washington scored 13 points in the defeat. Christian Sengfelder scored 21 points, Patrick Miller chipped in with 18 points and Chachashvili scored 16 points in the victory.