Deni Avdija plays last game in Europe, wins championship

2020-07-28T21:44:11+00:00 2020-07-28T23:20:26+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

28/Jul/20 21:44

The finale of the 2019-20 edition of the Israeli league retains Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at its usual spot.

By Johnny Askounis/

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv beat Maccabi Rishon LeZion, 86-81, to win its 54th Israeli league championship on Tuesday.

Amar’e Stoudemire made a couple of key buckets and followed up two clutch free throws with 35 seconds left keeping Giannis Sfairopoulos’ side in charge. Through his massive production down the stretch, he 37-year-old big tallied a team-high 18 points and also grabbed seven rebounds in the championship game held at the Menora Mivtachim Arena.

The ex-NBA star might be heading to retirement, but the freshly-crowned MVP of the Israeli league, Deni Avdija seems ready to make his way to the NBA with the 2020 draft inching closer. However, he was held to 5 points and 2/8 field goals in his last appearance with Maccabi Tel Aviv. The 19-year-old forward threw in seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals helping the Tel Avivians prevail.

“I can not digest that this was probably my last game,” he confessed, “No other outcome would be more exciting for the fans, coaches, doctors, and players myself included. Thank you for everything. I get chills just talking about it. I picture the fans in every training session.”

Othello Hunter knocked in 16 points alongside eight rebounds and four assists for a team-high 25 PIR. Sandi Cohen added 16 points of his own and Tyler Dorsey posted 14.

The champions completed their 59th official game of the 2019-20 season, which included a long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The main obstacle en route for the latest title was D’Angelo Harrison. Hitting five shots from long range and 12/19 overall from the field, the St. John’s alum scored a game-high 38 points, also took down six rebounds and dished out five assists.

Israel’s Winner League resumed just over one month ago, on June 21. The Final Four and Tuesday’s championship game completed the schedule.