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Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv got the 94-93 win over Valencia, their third road triumph in the season after a more than unexpected ending.
With Maccabi leading by one and 10 seconds left on the clock, Wade Baldwin, who previously gave his team the 94-92 lead had the ball in his hands, waiting for the clock to expire and trying not to get fouled.
However, while doing this, he turned the ball over with 3.2 giving the hosts one last chance to win. Chris Jones took the last shot, but he missed it and both teams are now tied at 12-11.
“I felt I had a disgusting performance and the ending was as bad as it gets from my end”, said a relieved Baldwin after the final buzzer, “and I have to give credit to my teammates and the coaching staff for keeping the positive energy during the game”.
Baldwin with 19 points was the top scorer of the winning side and before his turnover, Jared Harper made one of two free throws, missing the chance to tie the game, scoring a total of 20 points for Valencia.
Bonzie Colson also had a big game for Maccabi with 17 points and 12 rebounds. “We came out pretty soft in the first half, we let them get easy buckets and in the second half we wanted to put emphasis on playing hard, being aggressive”, said Colson after the game. “We did that and it was a great team win and we needed that”.
For the home side, Klemen Prepelic scored 15 points and Jones added 13.
Valencia had things under control in the first half, leading by 10 (55-45) after 20 minutes of action. However, Maccabi turned the tables in the third period starting with a 16-4 run.
John Di Bartolomeo with 17 points and 5/6 threes was instrumental in the comeback with Maccabi leading by 10 (77-67) in the 28th minute and by one (79-78) at the end of the third after Valencia’s answer, an 11-2 run started by Prepelic.
“It’s never easy against Valencia, they are a well-coached team, and they run things at a high level, but at halftime, we talked and said we wanted to demonstrate our character and I am proud of the guys”, said Maccabi’s coach Oded Kattash.
Maccabi with Colson and Baldwin taking charge built again a seven-point advantage (89-82) with five minutes left in the game. And that was not the end of it
Back-to-back threes by Chris Jones and Harper made it a one-point game (91-90), Baldwin missed in the next Maccabi offense but Josh Nebo got the offensive rebound and the foul, making one of two free throws (92-90).
With both teams failing to score in the next possessions, Jones got fouled with 41 seconds left and tied the score at 92, setting the stage for the big finale.