Maccabi TA cruises, gives top players much needed rest

Lior Eliyahu led Tel Aviv with 19 points on Saturday, with Guy Pnini scoring 17.

Lior Eliyahu_370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Lior Eliyahu_370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 17-2 in the BSL with a 92- 75 victory over Bnei Hasharon on Saturday night, but far more importantly, it came through the encounter at Zisman Arena in Ramat Gan unscathed ahead of Tuesday’s Euroleague showdown with Panathinaikos.
There was nothing to separate Maccabi and Bnei Hasharon at the break, with the score tied at 43-43, and the visitors were still within striking distance with 10 minutes to play (66-58).
However, the yellow-andblue began the fourth frame with a 12-3 run to clinch another easy league win despite resting Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Keith Langford and Devin Smith.
Maccabi’s other key players were also only given limited minutes, with coach David Blatt doing his best to make sure his team will be as fresh as possible for the resumption of its best-of-five quarterfinal series against Panathinaikos at Nokia Arena on Tuesday night.
Maccabi recorded a thrilling 94-92 overtime victory in Game 2 in Athens last Thursday to tie the series at 1-1.
Game 4 will also be played in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Lior Eliyahu led Tel Aviv with 19 points on Saturday, with Guy Pnini scoring 17.
LaceDarius Dunn had 21 points for Bnei Hasharon, which has lost three straight games.
Four more BSL games will be played on Sunday, with Hapoel Jerusalem hosting BC Habika’a, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil visiting Maccabi Ashdod, Maccabi Haifa welcoming Maccabi Rishon Lezion and Barak Netanya facing Ironi Ashkelon.