Maccabi Tel Aviv demolished Hapoel Eilat 109-57 in a game that was never in doubt at Yad Eliyahu. The Yellow & Blue jumped out to a quick 30-15 lead after ten minutes of action and just continued to build on the lead from there as 5 players scored in double digits including game MVP Jarell Martin who was dominant on both the inside and outside to help Oded Katash’s team to the win. Next up for Maccabi is a trip to the Carmel Mountain where they will face Hapoel Haifa on Tuesday at 17:30 which will be followed up by a Euroleague tilt at Real Madrid on Friday.
Martin led the way with 19 points, Iftach Ziv added 13 points, Bonzie Colson checked in with 12 points while Guy Pnini dished out 10 of Maccabi’s 38 assists on the game to tie a league record in the victory. Eric Griffin paced Eilat with 15 points in the defeat.
“We quickly controlled the game and we were focussed,” Katash said following the contest. “We did what we had wanted to defensively, we handed out 38 assists and split up the minutes. Most importantly we played the right way and did not look at the score itself. As for Jarell Martin, when you are building a new team it takes some time and now you see these things coming together. He is on an upward trend which is natural.”
“There wasn’t basketball here,” interim Eilat coach Valeri Gandlin explained. “We played five minutes and that was it. I tried to change defense and offense. There was no energy and we spoke about that before the game. I don’t know what is in this team and there have to be a lot of thoughts as to what to do. Do the players care? That’s a good question.”
Jarell Martin also looked back at the game, “We are continuing to play Maccabi basketball and we said that we wouldn’t look at the scoreboard and that we would do out things which is exactly what we did. I am working hard with confidence and I am trying to help the team improve. I am getting used to European basketball and I have to continue this way as things are coming together.”
Josh Nebo dunked twice to get the proceedings underway while both Iftach Ziv and Jalen Adams each went from beyond the arc for Maccabi Tel Aviv while Netanel Artzi and Eric Griffin also went from deep as the game was all knotted up at 10-10 midway through the first quarter. Jarell Martin put in a 3-point play and then drained a pair from long distance, Roman Sorkin scored a deuce and then added a 3-point play to give the yellow-and-blue a commanding 30-15 lead after then minutes of play.
Bonzie Colson began the second quarter with an easy bucket off of the glass, Adams did the same, Sorkin dunked, Colson drilled home a corner 3-pointer, Rafi Menco put in a layup, Nebo blocked DJ Funderburk at one end and put down a dunk at the other as Oded Katash’s squad led 51-22 with 5:15 left in the first half. Guy Pnini went from downtown, Emanuel Lecomte scored from the corner while Noam Avivi found points inside as well for an overwhelmed Eilat, but Jake Cohen scored a pair in the paint to give the hosts a 60-35 advantage at halftime.
Colson came out of halftime with a pair of baskets, Avivi scored off transition, Griffin posterized Sorkin with a massive dunk to stay in front 70-43 midway through the third quarter. Sorkin hit a step back in the paint, Menco dropped a long deuce from the corner, Cohen added a bucket, Darrun Hilliard gave Menco a no look pass in the paint and Pnini found points inside as Maccabi continued to cruise 82-45 after thirty minutes of action.
Martin dunked and drained a triple, Nebo scored inside, Hilliard nailed a corner 3-ball, Martin went from deep again and Jake Cohen scored to give Maccabi a 97-50 lead with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Tomer Agmon who checked in earlier in the frame found points to take the yellow-and-blue over the century mark a wide open Cohen scored under the basket, Ziv dunked and Agmon added a second bucket to finish off the blowout win.
Hapoel Holon downed Hapoel Beer Sheva 92-77 as CJ Harris made his season debut for Guy Goodes’s squad. The purples got off to a good start as they grabbed a 26-13 lead after the first quarter as Hayden Dalton who had not been dressed of late for Israeli league games came out and put up 25 points as they never looked back to capture the victory. Joe Ragland scored 21 points and dished out 11 assists while Harris added 16 points going 4/5 from beyond the arc. David Efiyani paced the southern Reds with 17 points while Greg Whittington and Ben Moore each scored 13 points in the defeat.
CJ Harris returned to the fold after an injury and spoke about the game that was, “It feels amazing and there is a lot lot of hard work. I’m thankful that I can play again. I did’t feel the best physically but I am also there, it’s still a process and there is more work to do. The goal is to keep getting better and stronger which is what we will do as a team and as individuals.”
Hapoel Galil Elyon knocked off Nes Ziona 108-104 in overtime to take the important win on the road. The hosts got off to a good start and set the tone early on as Golan Gutt, the recently returned Ronnie Harrell and Tyler Bey set the tone for Elad Hasin’s squad but the Galilee side kept staying close and finally drew even at the end of regulation on Roi Huber’s bucket to tie the game up at 93-93. But the extra session saw Huber, Itay Moskovits and Nimrod Levi all rise to the challenge as they outscored Nes Ziona 15-11 to tale the win.
“It’s great to have everyone available, especially Huber and we are really representing Israeli basketball,” Galil Elyon coach Barak Peleg began. I shortened the rotation and I saw some lineups that I was even unfamiliar with. Nes Ziona is a tough team to scout because they have a lot of weapons.”
“I think we really started to let the game slip away a lot earlier than just at the buzzer Nes Ziona coach Elad Hasin said. “We had recently come back after a long trip to Europe. They played aggressively and we spoke about that. But this is the beauty of this league. We need to win out home games. We made a lot of unforced turnovers, we have to look at that and rest up ahead of our next game.
The game MVP Roi Huber “I didn’t imagine how my first games back from injury was going to be but as the game went on I felt good and my hosts started to go in, We are in a position that is lower than we should be and I am happy that we won and i hope that we can now go in a winning streak.”