Maccabi Tel Aviv got by a pesky ASVEL Villeurbanne 94-91 as Wade Baldwin was tremendous down the stretch to take the win. In what was a back and forth game throughout but the yellow-and-blue were just one basket better than the French squad who battled toe-to-toe throughout the 40 minutes.
Baldwin scored a number of clutch baskets down the stretch and also blocked Nando De Colo’s last gasp effort to tie the game up as time expired to move Maccabi’s Euroleague record to 7-5. Next up for Oded Katash’s team is a date at Bologna on Friday night just after the Italians picked up a 80-75 win over Spanish giants Barcelona.
Baldwin scored 21 points and dished out 8 assists, Lorenzo Brown added 16 points while Roman Sorkin and Bonzie Colson scored 15 points a piece in the win. Joffrey Lauvergne scored 23 points, De Colo chipped in with 22 points while Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 19 points in the loss.
“We were not there defensively and we were always one second late,” Maccabi head coach Oded Katash said. “Some of it was because of game shape and rhythm of some players. We should and can play better especially defensively. It was a weird game and too many things happened. We have to give a lot of credit to ASVEL, they had great one-on-one situations and they punished us with that, but we found a way to win and I am happy with that.”
Wade Baldwin also commented on the game, “It was a helluva game, ASVEL is a tough team with a new coach and they are trying to build and win. When you step into the ring in my opinion with with the best European guard to play, it’s a battle. I was really honored to make the stop and I am happy for this team as we are fighting through all the battles that we have to go through as a club . We will continue to show grit and continue to show fight and string together some wins.”
Lorenzo Brown, Roman Sorkin and Bonzie Colson scored to begin the proceedings for Maccabi Tel Aviv, but Joffrey Lauvergne, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Edwin Jackson gave ASVEL Villeurbanne a 5-point lead but a last gasp half court heave by Tamir Blatt went in to cut the lead to 19-17 after ten minutes of play.
Baldwin began the second quarter with a steal and dunk, Blatt sealed up long distance, Roman Sorkin put down a tomahawk dunk while Josh Nebo dunked twice to give the yellow-and-blue a 19-3 run and a 33-22 lead midway through the period. Nando De Colo, Mike Scott and Lauvergne quickly came right back with a 15-0 run of their own, Baldwin and Colson both went from deep but Paris Lee countered to give Gianmarco Pozzecco’s team a 46-45 advantage at halftime.
Sorkin and Colson got busy to begin the third quarter but Lauvergne, Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jackson answered right back to keep ASVEL ahead 56-53 with five minutes left in the period. Brown found points, Colson scored in transition, Baldwin went from downtown, Rafi Menco and De Colo traded baskets, but a triple by Blatt and a last gasp bucket off the glass by Sorkin gave Oded Katash’s squad a 70-66 lead after thirty minutes of action.
John Egbunu began the fourth quarter with points, a red hot Sorkin put in a 3-point play, Lee stripped Brown for a basket as Colson hit a midrange jumper to keep Maccabi in front 77-74 midway through the final frame. Baldwin scored in the paint, Lauvergne nailed a 3-pointer and scored inside, Baldwin came back with a reverse layup and Nebo dunked, Brown put in a layup and then sent a brilliant pass for a Colson deuce, but a Baldwin layup followed up by a block on De Colo sealed the deal to give Maccabi the hard fought win.