By Stefan Djordjevic / email@example.com
Maccabi Tel Aviv made a big run and it seemed they would come out victorious, however, Valencia didn’t give up until the very last second and their grind paid off. The Spaniards snatched an 82-80 home win in EuroLeague Round 10.
Angelo Caloiaro and Elijah Bryant scored one three-pointer each while Scottie Wilbekin banked in three shots from deep and assisted on an alley-oop as Maccabi went on a 17-4 run (77-70) in the fourth quarter. However, Valencia stayed close and tied the game at 80 thanks to Derrick Williams’ three.
In the following offense, Dubljevic stole the ball away from Maccabi during the hand-off to Wilbekin near the half-court with five seconds left, quickly passed it forward to Sam Van Rossom who won the game with the fastbreak layup.
“We had problems to score in some moments of the fourth quarter and Maccabi played unbelievable in that moment. Wilbekin showed he has unbelievable talent and changed the game, but we believed. The key for us is that we showed our mentality all game long. This is good for the club, which is taking steps forwards and growing,” coach Jaume Ponsarnau said.
Klemen Prepelic banked in 22 points for the winning side followed by Derrick Williams’ 15 and Mike Tobey’s 12 points. Dubljevic finished with six points, seven assists and five boards.
Wilbekin faced a tough challenge early on as the opposing defense tried with all its might to deny easy looks off the pick and roll but the sharpshooter stayed composed and found his shots. He finished with 25 points on 7-14 from behind the arc while also dishing five assists and stealing the ball three times.
Caloiaro and Bryant also hit some tough and important shots with 15 and nine points respectively, however, it wasn’t enough in the end.
Valencia improved to a 6-3 record with two wins this week while Maccabi lost both its games and stayed at 3-7.