Maccabi Tel Aviv eases by Beer Sheva ahead of Euroleague quarterfinals series with PAO

Apr 20, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv easily disposed of Hapoel Beer Sheva 90-77 as they grabbed the lead before halftime while a strong third quarter from James Webb and Roman Sorkin in the fourth broke the game open to hand the yellow-and-blue the win. Sorkin scored 21 points as Webb and Joe Thomasson added 11 points in the win while Grant Sherfield with 16 points and JaKeenan Gant chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

Wade Baldwin, Joe Thomasson and Josh Nebo got busy for Maccabi Tel Aviv but Grant Sherfield, Egor Koulechov along with Joaquin Szuchman gave Hapoel Beer Sheva a 26-24 lead after ten minutes of play. Tamir Blatt, John Dibartolomeo and Baldwin all went from deep, Mike Lewis and JaKeenan Gant responded, Sherfield and Thomasson traded buckets, but a deuce by Roman Sorkin and triple by Dibartolomeo sent the yellow-and-blue into halftime with a 52-46 advantage.

Joe Thomasson – Photo credit:

Nebo began the third quarter with a pair of baskets, Lewis and Gant tried to keep Oren Aharoni’s team close, Blatt went from deep, Roman Sorkin scored inside, James Webb dunked as did Antonius Cleveland to give Oded Katash’s squad a 72-59 lead after thirty minutes of action. Webb and Sorkin continued to score as Sherfield and Koulechov tried to keep the reds close, but it was too little too late as the just wrapped up the win.

“This was an important win,” Maccabi Head Coach Oded Katash said. “We split up the minutes after losing Rafi Menco to injury last game. We didn’t defend that well in the first half but we broke away after halftime and I’m happy with the result all in all.”

The bench boss also spoke about James Webb potentially being an X-Factor in the Panathinaikos playoff series and Roman Sorkin’s return to action after having been out with an injury, “James, AC (Antonius Cleveland), John D, Jasiel Rivero and Tamir Blatt have really given us a very nice contribution that allows us to play different styles and we have been able to play 11 deep on the court. On any given day anyone of them can be the X-Factor.

Roman Sorkin – Photo credit: Dov Halickman and Yehuda Halickman

“As for Roman can also be an X-Factor in the series. Roman came back after an injury similar to when Alex Poythress came back from an injury last season and the team had been running well together. It’s not simple and just like anyone he has to be ready as the series can flip at any single moment. Roman is a weapon that can play two positions in Israel and I’m happy he had a couple pf games to get back into the swing of things, but he also plays a bit differently in Israel than in Europe.”

James Webb also spoke about being an X-Factor in the upcoming series, “X-Factor for sure, my role changes night in and night our. I’ll do whatever I need to do and adjust to whatever our game plan at the time. My role is going to be a little bit of everything.”

James Webb – Photo credit: Dov Halickman

“The first half we were in the game despite Maccabi’s high shooting percentage,” Beer Sheva coach Oren Aharoni said. “But in order to win here you gave t9 be focused and we made some mistakes in the third quarter and they ran easily scoring at will and that finished the game. All of the 50/50 balls and offensive rebounds went Maccabi’s way and that is why we ended up losing the game.”

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