Maccabi Tel Aviv falls to Red Star 84-77 as playoff hopes take hit

Mar 10, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Red Star Belgrade 84-77 as the Serbian hosts controlled the pace of play and the boards to take the win and drop the Yellow & Blue to 12-14 on their Euroleague season. Dejan Radonjic’s squad jumped out to a quick 24-10 lead with Nikola Kalinic, Austin Hollins and Nate Wolters doing the damage but Avi Even’s crew closed the gap to just 3-points 42-39 thanks to James Nunnally and Scottie Wilbekin who willed Maccabi back into the game.

John DiBartolomeo and Derrick Williams pushed the visitors into the lead in the third quarter but a 13-0 run by Red Star’s Ognjen Dobric, Stefan Lazarevic and Dejan Davidovac put the hosts onto the lead for good to take the win.

Nunnally led Maccabi with 24 points, Wilbekin added 14 points and Williams scored 13 points in the defeat. Kalinic paced Red Star with 15 points, Wolters chipped in with 12 points and Austin Hollins scored 11 points in the win.

Avi Even – Photo Credit: Euroleague

“We gave them too many cheap points,” Maccabi’s bench boss Avi Even explained. “Too many easy points, too many possessions that we weren’t concentrated enough and it hurt us in the crucial times.”

Dejan Radonjic – Photo Credit:

“One more big win for us,” Red Star coach Dejan Radonjic said. “Tough game definitely. The schedule was really tough for all of us. The second half was good things on both ends. Some mistakes, but more or less everything was in our hands.”

Ante Zizic spoke about the tough loss, “We are very disappointed. We didn’t start the game well, and when you need to chase them, it’s tough. their offensive rebounds were a key factor to their win.”

John Dibartolomeo- Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“Obviously a tough game for us,” Yellow & Blue captain John Dibartolomeo said. “We wanted to come out of here with a win. Credit to them, they played well in the fourth quarter. It’s a tough environment, a tough place to play. I think we were ready, but we were playing from behind for most of the game, but the rebounding killed us tonight. We’re all responsible for that. We need to be better.”

Ognen Dobric reflected on his squad’s win, “It is a very important win for us. We have a lot of games in front of us, but we have to find a way to be fresh and to play the games as good as we can. We have to be healthy first, then we have to find ways to play the games. The whole team fought for this game and we played really good in the second half. We found the strength and a way to win this game and I am very proud of my team.”

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