The Yellow-and-Blue had little trouble in the disposing of the Slovenian side in Tel Aviv on Gameday 1 of the EuroCup Round of 32. Taylor Rochestie led the way with 20 points while Devin Smith scored 19 points and Trevor Mbkawe pitched in with a double-double 12pts and 11 rebounds in the victory. Next week Maccabi travels to face Nizhny Novgorod.
Maccabi coach Zan Tabac said following the game: “We were looking to break the game open, but in most of the first half we couldn’t. I’m not satisfied with the game. In the last three minutes our defense slowed down, we let our guard down and had 3 or 4 turnovers in a row. We had a problem making some easy shots, but we won this first Eurocup game at home on a day when offensively we were not especially impressive.”
A crazy back and forth no defense matchup saw over 200 points being scored between the two teams in Russia. Donta Smith for Hapoel and Travis Peterson each dropped 29 points while EJ Rowland scored 19 points in the loss. Next week Jerusalem hosts Gran Canaria.
Danny Franco, Jerusalem’s coach said following the loss: “First of all, let me congratulate Avtodor for the win. It was really exciting game for the fans and all people who saw it. We played against the best offensive team in the Eurocup. That’s why we expected to meet such intensity. It took time for us to get into the game. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of our players tonight. We were not well enough physically to play such an intense game against such a good team. For us it was only first game of the group, which consists of very strong teams and now we are waiting for the next game to try to get our first win in the Last 32.”
Rishon Le’Zion took a big step in Europecup action defeating Ashel at home by 11 in a game that was never close. Rishon finished the first quarter up by 29-13 and ended the half way ahead 47-24 as Mark Lyons led all scorers with 23 points while Daryl Monroe dropped 16 points and Shawn Dawson 15 points in the win.