Mac TA back on track with win in Berlin

Superb first half sees yellow-and-blue open unassailable gap behind excellent displays from Randle and Pargo.

maccabi tel aviv basketball  (photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
maccabi tel aviv basketball
(photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to winning ways in the Euroleague in impressive fashion on Thursday night, thrashing Alba Berlin 84-69 on the road.
After last week’s humbling defeat at CSKA Moscow, the yellow- and-blue made a statement in Berlin, improving to 2-1 after effectively securing the win by the break.
Maccabi began the game with a Devin Smith three-pointer and never lost the lead. A 17-0 run in the second quarter saw it open a 20-point margin (40-20) and the yellow-and-blue cruised for the remainder of the game.
Maccabi scored 12-of-20 from the field, including 7-of-11 from three-point range, in its sensational first half, registering 12 assists and just three turnovers.
Brian Randle continued his superb start to life at Maccabi by leading the team with 25 points on 8-of-9 from the field, including three triples. Smith added 16 points, with Jeremy Pargo finishing with a double-double of 15 points and 10 assists. Alex Tyus and Guy Pnini scored 10 points each.
Reggie Redding had 15 points for Alba, which dropped to 0-3.
It was clear from the start of the encounter that Maccabi had no intention of dropping to a second straight defeat in continental competition, with Randle, Smith and Pargo combining to score the team’s first 14 points to open a five-point edge (14-9).
Alba had no answer to the yellow-and-blue’s cohesive play, with the hosts still trailing by seven points (23-16) after Alex King’s basket to end the first quarter.
Matters would get a whole lot worse for the Germans in the second period, with Maccabi running riot and all but wrapping up the win by the interval.
Berlin scored the first four points of the period to close within three points, but Maccabi stunned the hosts with a 17-0 surge to open a 20-point cushion (40-20). The yellow-and-blue hit 4-of-4 shots from beyond the arc and 6-of-6 attempts from the field, with a Tyus dunk capping the run.
Jamel McLean’s three-point play to end the first half cut the deficit to 17 points (46-29), but Berlin came no closer than 13 points in the second half and Maccabi clinched a confidence- boosting win.
Also Thursday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion beat Maccabi Haifa 81-72 in BSL action. The game, which was postponed to Thursday due to Haifa’s US tour, was extremely tight throughout its first half, with Haifa’s five-point margin (45-40) at the break the largest either team held in the first two quarters.
A Dagan Yavzuri three-pointer to start the second half took Haifa’s gap to eight points and the Greens would go on to lead by as many as 10 points (53-43) before ultimately settling for a four-point cushion (58-54) entering the final 10 minutes.
The encounter eventually came down to the final two minutes, which were dominated by Rishon.
The hosts held Haifa scoreless and scored the final eight points of the night, hitting 6-of-6 free-throw attempts.
Jackie Carmichael had 17 points and eight rebounds for Rishon, which improved to 3-1.
Haifa, which fell to 2-2, was led by Alex Chubrevich and Ike Ofoegbu, who each had 15 points and six boards.