By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv looks unstoppable at the moment! Oded Katahs’s team crushed Virtus Segafredo Bologna in Round 31 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with a 111-80 win.
The Israeli team had a record-breaking night, dishing out 38 assists, the most in a EuroLeague game ever. They also broke the club record for most points in the first half, leading 62-33 after 20 minutes.
All Maccabi players got into the scoring sheet, with Darrun Hilliard leading the way scoring 16 points.
Dynamic duo Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin had 14 points each, as well as an identical PIR of 23, while Roman Sorkin added 13 points, Josh Nebo 12, Bonzie Colson scored 11, and Jarell Martin 10 points.
For the losing side Semi Ojeleye had 16 and Awudu Abass 13 points.
Αll over after Maccabi’s 21-2 run
Since the very beginning, it was clear that Virtus is in trouble, as Maccabi opened the first quarter with a 10-2 run. The lead of the host continued to grow, and after 10 minutes it was 28-13 on the scoreboard.
The guests held on for a few more minutes, and then Maccabi started building an unattainable lead. Katash’s players made a 21-2 run, and already after 20 minutes it was obvious that the Tel Aviv team will win convincingly.
“They were up by 30, they finished up by 30”, Virtus coach Sergio Scariolo said after the end of the game. “At least in the second half, we competed better, we managed to slow them down a little bit. Unfortunately, we have another injury who looked to be in very good shape, [Awudu] Abass. Anyway, a bad night for us. Let’s move on to the next one.”
Maccabi also broke the team’s record with 62 points in the first half and dominantly got to a fifth win in a row, the 18th of the season. All that with an all-time record in assists, and just six turnovers.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is now on the verge of securing the playoffs, while Virtus Bologna is pretty much out of the playoff picture.
“There’s still work to be done”
“We’ve got Milan next, we’ve got to finish out these last three games. We’re energetic, we’re very hungry to get into the playoffs and finish in the top eight. There’s still work to be done”, said Baldwin after the game, setting the tone for what’s next.
Lorenzo Brown not only agreed but admitted that Maccabi is sending a warning to the rest of the league: “Yeah, hopefully, everyone is watching us right now. We’re still fighting for our respect and I think we’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a long journey so we’re willing to put that into play and sacrifice what we need to sacrifice.”
As for coach Oded Kattash, he gave credit to his team: “It was almost a perfect half for us: on offense and defense. In the second half, we just kept playing the same way; we tried not to play the score, even though it was tough. We shared some minutes. I’m really happy for the fans and for my players”.