Maccabi Tel Aviv eased past Hapoel Haifa 80-59 to win their second Israeli game of the week by a total of 73 points to bump up their record to 10-2 in domestic league play.
The Yellow & Blue started out slowly on the offensive side but there defense made sure to keep the Carmel Reds in check as Roman Sorkin and Iftach Ziv helped the visitors to a 33-23 lead at halftime. Oded Katash’s squad came flying out of the gate in the second half as Bonzie Colson made his mark but Kadeem Allen and Will Rayman tried to keep Sharon Drucker’s side close, however, Sorkin and Ziv scored at will down the stretch and polished off the convincing win.
Sorkin led the way with 21 points, Ziv added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while Colson also checked in with 15 points in the win. Will Rayman paced the hosts with 12 points, Kadeem Allen added 11 points and Amit Simhon scored 10 points in the loss.
“We did the job defensively, although they missed many easy shots which is unusual for them,” Katash said following the game. “In the first half we didn’t play well offensively and slow on the attack but in the seance half we took advantage of our quality to win the game.”
“We were there defensively in the first half and were able to hold Maccabi to 33 points in the first half at low shooting percentages,” Drucker explained. “I would have bought that ahead of the game, but offensively we weren’t there as we missed easy shots under the basket and free throws. I believed that we could win but sometimes things don’t go according to plan.”
Guy Pnini who dished out 5 assists against Haifa and ten just two days ago versus Eilat also spoke about the victory, “It’s fun to play and to feel the court and the game. We are distributing the ball well and are coming into each game with they same attitude and focus no matter if it is the Euroleague or the Israeli league.
Amit Simhon and Will Rayman went from deep for Hapoel Haifa to open up the first quarter while Lorenzo Brown and Iftach Ziv did the same for Maccabi Tel Aviv as Bonzie Colson also found points to give the visitors a 17-10 lead after ten minutes of play.
The yellow-and-blue began hammering away inside with buckets in the paint by Josh Nebo and Roman Sorkin, Kadeem Allen responded with points for the Carmel Reds but Ziv continued to score to give Maccabi a 33-23 advantage at halftime.
Colson came out to begin the third quarter like a man on a mission as he scored on the inside and from the outside for Oded Katash’s team, Simhon scored a reverse layup for Sharon Drucker’s squad but Sorkin again worked his magic inside as Rafi Menco and Ziv dialed up long distance to give Maccabi a 61-36 lead after thirty minutes of action.
Sorkin continued to fill the basket inside with buckets galore, Ziv continued to hit from beyond the arc while Ofek Avital did the same for Haifa but the game at this point was well out of reach as Maccabi wrapped the 21-point victory.