Maccabi runs away with the domestic win

2022-04-15T14:01:43+00:00 2022-04-15T14:41:09+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

15/Apr/22 14:01

Successful showing for Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv before the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs series versus Real Madrid

By Johnny Askounis/

After nearly squandering a 14-point lead, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv blew out Bnei Ofek Dist Herzeliya, 92-74, with Washington Wizards player Deni Avdija in attendance Friday.

Avdija, 21, started his professional career with the Yellows and remained part of the squad until being selected with the 9th overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft by the Wizards. After wrapping up his second NBA campaign, he was back in Menora Mivtachim Arena but as a spectator.

His former team enjoyed Roman Sorkin resetting his season-best at 22 points. John DiBartolomeo and Scottie Wilbekin registered 14 points each. Ante Zizic and Yiftach Ziv chipped in 13 more points apiece. Keenan Evans, Derrick Williams, and James Nunnally were ruled out of the Round 24 affair of the Israel League.

The comeback bid launched by the team based in Herzliya reduced the double-digit deficit to two points. A 15-0 sprint stretching between the third and fourth quarter got the hosts back into a safer distance. Chris Babb scoring 19 points was not enough to keep his side in the hunt for the win on the road. Chinanu Onuaku finished with 14 points.

Logging the 11th win in the last 12 games across all competitions, the team coached by Avi Even improved its domestic record to 16-8 with three games left in the second and final stage of the 2021-22 Winner League Regular Season. The visitors were forced down to 15-9. Looking to secure the best possible seeding in the Playoffs bracket, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem currently holds a 16-7 W-L record and Hapoel U-NET Holon sits at 15-8.

Back in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Maccabi is set to begin the Playoffs best-of-five series opposite Real Madrid at WiZink Center on Wednesday. Game 2 follows at the Madrid venue Friday before Game 3 shifts the quarterfinal pairing to Israel.

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