Maccabi Tel Aviv falls to Barcelona, will take part in Play In

Apr 5, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s six game Euroleague winning streak came to a halt as the yellow-and-blue fell to Barcelona 92-89 in dramatic fashion. In what was a back and forth game throughout, Nicolas Laprovittola drilled home a go ahead triple with 5 seconds left while Wade Baldwin came up short with his last gasp attempt to hand the hosts the victory.

Baldwin scored 22 points, Josh Nebo added 14 points and John Dibartolomeo chipped in with 12 points in the loss. Jan Vesely and Alex Abrines each scored 17 points and Laprovittola checked in with 15 points in the win.

Oded Kattash – Photo Credit: FC Barcelona

With the defeat, Head Coach Oded Katash’s squad will finish the regular season in 7th place and will take part in the Play In tournament which will determine the final two playoff spots for the quarterfinal round. With a record of 19-14, Maccabi has one game remaining in the regular season next week against Milano at their home away from home in Belgrade as their Play In opponent will be determined once the campaign comes to an end.

There are three teams that Maccabi can be matched up against in the 7th-8th Play In game as Bologna, Baskonia and Anadolu EFES are all in contention with the Italian side the most likely of opponents. Should the yellow-and-blue win they will face the 2nd place team in the quarterfinals and if they lose they will play the winner of the 9th and 10th place Play In contest.

John DiBartolomeo – Photo Credit: FC Barcelona

“In the end it came down to the last play,” Katash said. “It was a great move by a great player. We had our chances, we got back into the game two or three times with different lineups. I’m very proud of the players for the way we played, I feel bad for them, they really wanted to win, we have to learn from this experience.”

Josh Nebo also spoke about the game, “Tough game today, we fought hard to the end. Both teams played really hard and deserved to win the game. Unfortunately they hit a tough shot to win the game in the last seconds. We really wanted to win but things didn’t go our way in the end. We will learn from this and be better for the next games.”

Nicolas Laprovittola looked back at the victory, “I think it is not the last shot, it was the whole game. We played with amazing energy at home against this team. They are playing very, very good and I think it is a huge win for us. We have to control what we can control. We have to stay [on track], to keep playing our game, and I think we will get chances [to do something special in the playoffs].”

“Sometimes we lost focus. They are a very, very talented team and showed they could punish our lack of focus,” Jan Vesely commented. “But we fought and believed that we could do it and, in the end, ‘Lapro’ hit a crazy shot and we did. Still one more round to play. Everything is open, but we are trying to do our best to finish strong and get the best position.”

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