Mac TA crushes Ashkelon but injuries remain a concern

Blatt has to bench both Demond Mallet and Sofoklis Schortsanits due to health reasons with Euroleague Top 16 action approaching.

Jon Scheyer 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Jon Scheyer 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt is crossing his fingers he will not lose any more players to injury ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague Top 16 opener at Zalgiris Kaunas after having to bench both Demond Mallet and Sofoklis Schortsanits due to health reasons on Monday.
The yellow-and-blue cruised to its 15th straight win in all competitions, thrashing Ironi Ashkelon 108-75 in BSL action at Nokia Arena.
However, after already losing Guy Pnini to injury last week, Blatt was far more concerned on Monday with the health of Mallet and Schortsanitis, who were both clearly struggling for fitness against Ashkelon.
“Mallet felt his hamstring so I decided not to play him too much,” said Blatt of Maccabi’s newest recruit, who scored just two points in 12 minutes on Monday. “Sofo once more felt something in his knee and I hope that it isn’t anything serious.
“It has been a while since our last Euroleague game and I think we came through this period well. We also managed to practice a little, but not as much as I would like. We did what we could, resting players and trying different lineups so that we will enter the Top 16 in the best situation possible.”
Keith Langford led seven Maccabi players in double figures with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while David Blu added 20 points.
Sofo had 12 points in 18 minutes for Tel Aviv, which opened an early double-digit gap (18-8) and never looked back.
Dwayne Mitchell had 12 points for Ashkelon, which never believed it had any chance of not losing for the fifth time in six league games.