Local Hoops: Maccabi TA takes no prisoners in Rishon rout

Maccabi Tel Aviv thrashes Maccabi Rishon Lezion 114-75 at Nokia Arena.

tre simmons mac ta 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
tre simmons mac ta 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Tel Aviv thrashed Maccabi Rishon Lezion 114-75 at the Nokia Arena on Monday, returning to the top of the BSL standings and boosting its confidence ahead of Thursday's crucial Euroleague game at Air Avellino. Maccabi effectively clinched the victory with 37-17 first period, allowing coach Pini Gershon to share the playing time and rest his key players ahead of Thursday's game in Italy. "Almost all the players were on court for around 20 minutes," Gershon said after the game. "There's not much we can take from this game ahead of Thursday. The players do need to understand, however, that they must play with the same tempo for 40 minutes." Omri Casspi led six Tel Aviv players in double-figures, scoring 22 points in 26 minutes, hitting 10 of 11 from two-point range. Lior Eliyahu added 21 points for Maccabi, which amazingly scored 39 of its 51 two-point attempts. "This is what it looks like when a team with a $26 million dollar budget faces a team with a one million dollar budget," said Rishon coach Miki Dorsman, who was on the sideline at the Nokia Arena for the first time since guiding Hapoel Holon to the BSL championship in May last season. We need to make changes. That must be our first priority." Maccabi scored the first six points of the encounter and never looked back. A Marcus Brown three-pointer gave the hosts a 15-7 lead and two straight Carlos Arroyo triples extended the margin to 16 points (28-12). Rishon was being completely outplayed, but far more worryingly for Dorsman was the fact that his players seemed totally apathetic and fell to the humbling defeat without putting up a fight.