Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by Fenerbahce 78-73 after mounting a second half comeback to record the close win to move to 5-3 in Euroleague play this season. The yellow-and-blue who were once again playing at their tempriray home in Belgrade, lacked concentration early on as Tarik Biberovic and Nigel Hayes-Davis made the hosts pay for their lackadaisical play that saw Dimitris Itoudis’s squad take a 46-38 lead at halftime. However, Oded Katash’s team locked down on defense over the final twenty minutes as Bonzie Colson and Wade Baldwin controlled the offensive to send Maccabi to the victory.
Colson chalked up a 13 points 13 rebound double-double, Lorenzo Brown added 18 points while Baldwin scored 12 points and James Webb 10 points in the win. Biberovic and Scottie Wilbekin each scored 18 points and Hayes-Davis added 16 points in the loss.
“We talked about wanting to be consistent after the Olympiacos game with our energy,” Katash said following the game. “We came out with the right energy but we were nervous on both sides of the floor with a lot of mistakes. I liked the way we played the second half with great defense, we won the game with our defense. Offensively it wasn’t easy to play against some of their lineups and the tactics that they had. But it’s very important to get at least one win in a double week.”
“Maccabi out jumped us and out hustled us on the boards,” Fenerbahce coach Dimitris Itoudis said. “They scored a lot of second chance points with over 20 offensive boards which we were prepared for but combined with 16 turnovers it makes it tough. We started the game well and bounced back as we tried to read the game and hustle. We are going through a difficult time as we have a lot of absent players. Tarik was amazing but he got hit on the head and I hope it’s not serous but he has a concussion and I couldn’t use him at the end.”
James Webb added, “We started slow and our energy was down. I think we kind of let the last game roll over into the beginning of this one. We picked up our energy in the second half, played defense, they still made a couple of tough shots but we stuck together, fought and played our game.”
An active Josh Nebo put in a pair of buckets including a dunk for Maccabi Tel Aviv while Tarik Biberovic scored from the inside and the outside for Fenerbahce as the score was all knotted up at 10-10 midway through right first quarter. Lorenzo Brown and a hot Biberovic traded baskets, Nigel Hayes-Davis and Johnathan Motley scored, Scottie Wilbekin and Brown went from deep at either end of the court but the visitors grabbed a 28-21 lead after ten minutes of play.
James Webb began the second quarter from deep but Biberovic matched him from the corner at the other end, Jasiel Rivero dished out a pair of brilliant assists to Roman Sorkin and Webb but Biberovic with the hot hand kept Dimitris Itoudis’s squad in front 36-32 with 5:34 left in the half. Hayes-Davis found a pair of buckets to rip off a 13-2 run until Brown drained a pair of 3-pointers but Oded Katash’s team went into halftime down 46-38.
Bonzie Colson scored from the inside and the outside to open up the third quarter for 7 quick points to open the third quarter, Wilbekin went from deep and then fed Motley for an easy deuce but Brown scored to keep Oded Katash’s squad hanging around but down 54-49 midway through the period. Wilbekin again with an acrobatic bucket from downtown, Antonius Cleveland put down a dunk, Brown puts in a layup as did Cleveland to pull Maccabi to within a single point, 57-56.
Tyler Dorsey got the fourth quarter off and running with a pair of buckets but Colson, Sorkin and Wade Baldwin came back with points to give Maccabi a 64-63 lead with 5:09 remaining in regulation time. Sorkin put in a tough bucket then blocked as Webb scored at the other end, Baldwin went in for a layup but Wilbekin drilled home a triple with 42 seconds left to tie the game up at 72-72. Colson scored and Baldwin knocked down a quartet of free throws to hand Maccabi the victory.