By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Scottie Wilbekin led the way with 20 points on 6-8 from behind the arc while Elijah Bryant added 19 in addition to John DiBartolomeo and Nate Wolters’ 14 points each.
Tornike Shengelia and Patricio Garino tried to make things happen for Baskonia with 31 and 24 points respectively but no avail. They also combined for ten out of their team’s total of 11 three-pointers.
“The secret is confidence”
Coach Giannis Sfairopoulos gave a few reasons which gave Maccabi an ‘advantage’: “Everything started from our good defense, which disorganized our opponents. Baskonia is a rhythm team on their home court and if you give them the rhythm, they can score easy points, transition points. I think we controlled the rhythm of the game from our defense, but we also had a great day offensively, shooting from outside. We are in a good momentum, we need to keep it up and stay humble for the continuation. The secret is confidence. If you have confidence and if you play good defense, you also have rhythm on offense.”
The coach also talked about two reasons which gave his team much-need rest and time to prepare for the match – Postponement of the Israeli League games and the way they traveled to Spain.
Maccabi took control right early on, going ahead 28-21 after ten minutes and led by Wilbekin’s 17 points increased the gap to 55-32 at halftime.
As Baskonia coach Velimir Perasovic said: “This is by far the worst game we played this season. We were completely run over by Maccabi. It is up to us to ask for forgiveness from the crowd that came to watch the game tonight. They were scoring on almost every shot and we were unable to score ourselves. As the game went on, the difference got bigger. They played really hard and we were unable to respond. When you play at home and have 15 fouls less than the opponent, it is a sign something has gone wrong. We have to analyze from that point on.”
It was pretty much the same story after the break. Although Maccabi’s shot percentage fell off by just a bit, Baskonia just couldn’t get anything going outside the Shengelia and Garino duo who weren’t enough to change the outcome. Maccabi led 86-58 at the end of the third and kept going in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
Photo Credit: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague