Maccabi Tel Aviv crushes Baskonia in Play In, PAO awaits in classic quarterfinal matchup

Apr 16, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv overwhelmed Baskonia 113-85 to advance to the Euroleague quarterfinals where they will play Panathinaikos in a best-of-5 series beginning next Tuesday night in Athens. Lorenzo Brown came out firing on all cylinders at Stark Arena in Belgrade to help give the yellow-and-blue a quick 28-15 lead after the first frame as Oded Katash’s team never looked back running circles around Dusko Ivanovic’s squad and shooting lights out from deep going 19/36 from 3-point land to notch the win.

With the victory, Maccabi officially ended the regular season in 7th place and will now face the second place team Panathinaikos with the first two game being played in Greece next Tuesday and Thursday. The yellow-and-blue will then see the series move the following week to their home away from home in Serbia for game there and if necessary game 4 while the series decider would be back at OAKA Arena in Athens the week after that. The winner of the series will then move onto the Final Four in Berlin, Germany where they will be joined by the other three teams who advanced out of their respective series.

Bonzie Colson – Credit: Djordje Kostic

Brown led the way with 29 points, Baldwin added 26 points and Colson scored 14 points in the win. Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 32 points and Markus Howard chipped in with 14 points in the loss.

Oded Katash – Credit: Dragan Tesic and Djordje Kostic

“I am very happy for the players,” Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Oded Katash said after the game. “Before we got out of the lockeroom I told them just enjoy it we deserve it, play our game. Most of the game we executed really well defensively and offensively. I feel like we deserved to be in the playoffs after this crazy year and I am very happy for the Maccabi organization. The players showed a lot of character. We missed the fans and the great atmosphere we have in our home court games, it’s special for us.”

The game MVP Lorenzo Brown spoke about the victory, “It’s a beautiful feeling right now. We’ve had a lot of adversity this year but we have been sticking with it and staying together which is the most important part for out team. Guys had great seasons but now it’s about the playoffs now and paying attention to detail. It’s been a long year for me playing this whole year through injury and other things as well with our team but we have been pushing through it and letting everything flow by while paying attention to the basketball.

“As for Panathinaikos, they are a great team and there will be a great atmosphere there as they are one of the best crowds in Euroleague and they have a good team. But focus on details and play our game, we have great players on our team and a great coaching staff.”

Wade Baldwin – Credit: Djordje Kostic

Wade Baldwin also spoke about the victory and looked ahead to the matchup with Panathinaikos, “We had another 48 hours that’s been crazy, First and foremost we want to shout out to Israel and the defense system that is protecting us as players and getting out here and dealing with the circumstances. Your team really appreciates the support that we get from our country and from our fans. This was a team win from everybody, we were locked in and focussed and left all of the distractions away and we were able to play a very good game.

“We are going to the belly of the beast and it’s a Greek atmosphere that’s one of the tops in Europe. We got to be ready and we will talk a week to prepare for Panathinakos and it will be a great matchup with two very good teams and we will see how it will play out.”

Lorenzo Brown – Credit: Djordje Kostic

Lorenzo Brown came out on fire with a pair of triples and Wade Baldwin went from the inside and outside to get the game going for Maccabi Tel Aviv as Vanja Marinkovic tried to keep Baskonia close but the hosts took an early 13-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Brown went from deep yet again while Antonius Cleveland also scored from long distance out of the timeout, Markus Howard scored his first points of the game with a catch and shoot corner 3-ball for the visitors but yet another 3-pointer from Tamir Blatt and a midrange jumper from Brown gave the yellow-and-blue a 28-15 lead after ten minutes of action.

Josh Nebo – Credit: Djordje Kostic

Jasiel Rivero opened the second quarter with a jumper from the charity stripe, Tadas Sedekirskis responded, Bonzie Colson and Brown added a pair of buckets, Baldwin put down a massive dunk off the wing and hit a jumper to give Maccabi a 41-21 lead with 5:57 left in the half. Colson fed Josh Nebo for a dunk, Nikos Rogkavopoulos tried to keep Dusko Ivanovic’s squad in the game, Colson hit a spur of baskets, Brown went for another pair from beyond the arc but Cody Miller-McIntyre scored the final five points of the period, however, Oded Katash’s team took a 55-36 advantage at halftime.

Codi Miller-Mcintyre – credit: Baskonia

Howard started off the third quarter from deep, Colson matched him, Jake Cohen knocked down a triple, Rogkavopoulos and Sedekiskis scored to try and get Baskonia into the game, but Brown went from deep yet again to keep Maccabi ahead by 20 points, 69-49 midway through the frame. Baldwin put in a trio of baskets, Rivero put down a dunk, Howard went from deep, Cleveland and James Webb answered and Blatt went from downtown to bump the lead up to 86-61 after thirty minutes of all one way action.

Wade Baldwin – Credit: Djordje Kostic

Howard began the fourth quarter just as he did the third from downtown, Webb used the glass for a deuce and then dunked, Jordan Theodore and Miller-McIntyre tried to give the Spaniards one last gasp at making a run but Blatt, Baldwin and Brown all went from deep to wrap up the victory.

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