By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv made short work of visiting Zalgiris Kaunas in the first half to bounce back with an 85-57 victory in Round 8 of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Prior to the game, the Israeli team counted two back-to-back defeats but managed to improve its record to 3-5 and restore some of its lost ground in the standings.
A truly collective effort by Giannis Sfairopoulos’ squad that had 5 players scoring in double figures. Tyler Dorsey stepped up in the second half to add a team-high of 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Chris Jones followed his pace with 15 points, as Dragan Bender posted 11 points.
The hosts obliterated Zalgiris‘ defenses in the second quarter to get ahead with a 30-point lead at halftime (53-23), hitting 9 out of 11 from the three-point line in the first 20 minutes. Zalgiris broke some tension in the third period but still trailed by large margins after 30 minutes.
Happy with his team’s effort, Sfairopoulos gave credit to his players after the game: “Congratulations to our players. They played great defense. The first half was amazing. We had great covers on defense. We played all together with high energy and on offense, we had great rhythm, we moved the ball, we made always the right pass, the extra pass and we found open books with patience. I think also in the second half it was obvious that we couldn’t shoot with 81% for three, but I think we controlled the game all the game and I want to congratulate the players for their reaction.”
Thomas Walkup led the efforts of Martin Schiller’s team with 12 points and five rebounds, Marius Grigonis posted 11 points and Joffrey Lauvergne had 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Lithuanian side suffered its third defeat of the season, their second straight after falling to Real Madrid at home last week.