Maccabi rolls over Ashdod 107-78; set to face Real Madrid
Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised to its 17th straight BSL victory on Saturday night, thrashing Maccabi Ashdod 107-78 on the road in front of empty stands.
By ALLON SINAI
Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised to its 17th straight BSL victory on Saturday night, thrashing Maccabi Ashdod 107-78 on the road in front of empty stands due to the security situation in the south of Israel.Ashdod led 28-21 after 10 minutes, but Tel Aviv outscored the hosts by doubledigits in each of the next three quarters on the way to another easy league win, improving to 23-1 on the season.Milan Macvan had 25 points and seven rebounds for Tel Aviv, with Jeremy Pargo adding 16 points.Josh Duncan had 20 points for Ashdod, whose foreign players had to be convinced to take part in the game after Mayor Yehiel Lasri decided to close the encounter to fans following the firing of dozens of projectiles from Gaza over the weekend.Maccabi still has plenty of BSL games to play before the Euroleague Final Four gets underway on May 6, but the yellow-and-blue’s preparations for continental basketball’s showcase event will get underway on Sunday now that Tel Aviv knows who it will be facing in the semifinals.Real Madrid beat Valencia 66- 58 on Thursday night to claim a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinal series and Maccabi coach David Blatt is expecting a tough encounter against Emanuele Molin’s team, which was guided by Ettore Messina until the Italian resigned in March.“Real claimed a difficult yet expected victory in Game 5 against Valencia and will be a very difficult opponent,” Blatt said. “Real will be a real challenge for us and I expect a superb game in the battle for a place in the final.”AdvertisementOn Sunday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil hosts Bnei Hasharon in a direct battle between two of the teams fighting for the runnersup position in the BSL.Gilboa trails second-place Hapoel Jerusalem by just half a game after winning at Malha Arena last week, while Bnei Hasharon squandered a chance to move tied on points with Jerusalem after losing to Maccabi Rishon Lezion.Jerusalem visits Maccabi Haifa on Sunday, while Rishon Lezion hosts Hapoel Holon and Barak Netanya welcomes Ironi Ashkelon.
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