By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv continues to rack up wins on their home. The Israeli team got a big win in the battle for the playoff in a direct duel against Cazoo Baskonia 93-79.
Before this game, both opponents had 15 wins and 13 losses, but now Maccabi makes a crucial step toward the playoffs with 16 wins and Baskonia is tied with Zalgiris Kaunas between the 8th and the 9th position with a 15-14 record.
“Our defense won us the game. We showed character, and step by step got a big win for our team“, Oded Kattash said.
Wade Baldwin led the way with 24 points, and Lorenzo Brown added 17 points, most of them in the second half when Baskonia made a run but couldn’t turn things around.
“This means nothing if don’t make the playoffs. I think Lorenzo is the best point guard in EuroLeague, and I am the best combo guard but if we don’t finish out and make the playoffs, that statement holds no weight. “, said Wade Baldwin.
Josh Nebo finished the night with a big double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Bonzie Colson and John Dibartolomeo had 11 points.
John DiBartolomeo made a three-pointer inside the final minute to seal an ultimately convincing victory for Maccabi, which dominated most of the game, aside from two runs (11-0) and (15-0) for Baskonia which were far from enough.
For the Spanish team, Rokas Giedraitis scored 18 points.
Coach Kattash admits that sometimes you need to be lucky
With Baskonia shooting just 5/32 threes, Oded Kattash had every right to talk about the defense of his team, but he also admitted that it was an off night for the opponent: “We’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t their best shooting game – some of them because of good defense, some of them pure luck. Sometimes you need that, too.”
Baskonia coach Joan Penarroya on the other hand wasn’t happy with the effort of his team: “We played a good game when we got to 60 points, but in the last quarter we need to improve and compete better. We won’t score every time but [we should] compete better.”
And on the other side, Maccabi center Josh Nebo was the definition of effort and grind with his 16 rebounds.
As he said: “It was a great team game for us, I feel like we competed very hard. There were times that we went down, we went back up, we went down, but I feel like we showed the character of our team tonight when we were able to play from behind and still not give up on each other. I feel like we deserve the playoffs – the race is very tight for the playoffs so every game is important, but I feel like we’re on the right track.”