Maccabi Tel Aviv outlasts Zagreb for overtime victory

Local Hoops: Shawn James had nine points and 12 rebounds in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 91-85 overtime win at Cibona Zagreb in Adriatic League action.

Shawn James 311 (photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv website)
Shawn James 311
(photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv website)
Maccabi Tel Aviv strengthened its position at the top of the Adriatic League standings with a 91-85 overtime win at Cibona Zagreb on Saturday night to improve to 15-1 in the competition.
The yellow-and-blue claimed its 14th straight victory in all competitions in Croatia, but after winning its last eight games by 20 points or more, it at least had to overcome somewhat of a battle on Saturday in preparation for its Euroleague Top 16 opener at Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday.
Maccabi led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but Marin Rozic’s basket with six seconds to play tied the game at 79-79 and forced overtime.
However, Tel Aviv dominated the extra five minutes, opening a double-digit margin (91-81) with a 12-2 run to claim another Adriatic win.
Devin Smith led Maccabi with 19 points, with Keith Langford adding 16.
Maccabi’s final game before it begins the Top 16 will be against Ironi Ashkelon in the BSL on Monday.
On Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem will look to bounce back from its early exit from the State Cup last week when it hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
Jerusalem was beaten 82-72 by Maccabi Rishon Lezion in the last 16 of the cup to leave it with only BSL games to play until the end of the season.
Gilboa can empathize with Jerusalem as it to was knocked out in the same stage of the cup with a defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv of the National League.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Holon hosts BC Habika’a in a battle between two teams which advanced to the cup semifinals last week, while Bnei Hasharon visits Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Ashdod welcomes Barak Netanya.
On TV: Hapoel Holon vs Habika’a (live on Sport5+ at 7 p.m.); Hapoel Jerusalem vs Gilboa/Galil (live on Sport5 at 8:30 p.m.)