Hapoel Galil Elyon surprised an undermanned Maccabi Tel Aviv 94-83 as the Galilee squad not only took the win but will look to move into the 4th spot in the standings. The yellow-and-blue who were without Wade Baldwin who was out due to his wife’s surgery as well as his backcourt mate Lorenzo Brown who was not registered for the contest.
John Dibartolomeo drilled home a pair of triples and Bonzie Colson scored a pair of baskets to give Maccabi Tel Aviv a 23-14 lead after ten minutes of play. Itay Moskovits, Bryce Washington and Wayne Langston tried to keep Hapoel Galil Elyon close but points from Jake Cohen and Alex Poythress who returned to play after a number of months having been injured kept Oded Katash’s team in front 46-42 at halftime.
Roi Huber, Devon Marble, Nimrod Levi and Bryce Washington all scored to begin the third quarter to give Barak Peleg’s team a 56-50 lead midway through the period. Cohen went from the outside and inside, Dibartolomeo also scored but Huber from downtown and Moskovits from beyond the arc and in the paint gave the visitors a 70-66 advantage after thirty minutes of action.
Jarell Martin and Moskovits traded 3-pointers to get the fourth quarter underway, Deishuan Booker also dialled up long distance for a pair from deep, while Levi and Washington scored at will to take the win.
Washington led the way with 18 points, Levi added 15 points while both Moskovits and Booker each scored 14 points in the win. Cohen paced Maccabi with 16 points, Poythress chipped in with 13 points and Dibartolomeo scored 12 points in the loss.
“This was a nice win and it came during a funny period of time where we haven’t looked great,” Barak Peleg said. “But we showed character and our DNA where the players hearts are in the right spot. In the first half it didn’t look like we were going to have any chance to win, but it was how we reacted in the second half that we were able to take the victory.”
“I want to congratulate Galil,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash began. “We lost this game in the third quarter when we gave up 28 points and they gained confidence. We were missing players and we had to have players play in positions that they aren’t used to but we had to find a way to deal with it.”
Game MVP Bryce Washington reflected on the game, “It’s great to beat a Euroleague team after I lost every time that I had played against Maccabi and we were never able to get over the hump. Barak instilled the confidence that we could win, so it feels great that we did and next up is Jerusalem. Day by day we will prepare for them as we are looking to finish in 4th place.”
John Dibartolomeo also spoke about the game that was, “It’s never fun to lose especially at home and you have to give Galil credit, we lacked defensive stability and it’s tough to win when you give up 94 points.”