Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Real Madrid 87-76 in a spirited affair but the Spaniards swept their quarterfinal series 3-0 ending the yellow-and-blue’s Euroleague campaign. Pablo Laso’s squad dominated every facet of the matchup at Yad Eliyahu and won every quarter to take the 11-point win.
Scottie Wilbekin came out strong for Avi Even’s team but Sergio Llull came in and began hitting from deep as well as by driving to the basket while big man Walter Tavares caused all kinds of problems for Ante Zizic in the paint. Maccabi had no answer for Vincent Poirier and Guerschon Yabusele who scored at will as Real moved the ball like a symphony orchestra all game long to take the victory.
Wilbekin paced Maccabi with 22 points, James Nunnally added 17 points and Ante Zizic scored 10 points in the loss. Llull led Real with 18 points, Yabusele scored 16 points and Poirier chipped in with 14 points in the win.
“I feel sad and proud,” Avi Even said following the game. “I really wanted to take this game. I feel that we left everything on the floor, but unfortunately, we played against a very good team, and we didn’t really manage to win. We look forward to the local Israeli League and taking the title.”
“I think it was a very solid performance from our part,” Pablo Laso commented. “We read the game very well, in offense we moved the ball well, we looked for mismatches. We had some stupid turnovers that hurt us because we knew that are they very good when they are able to rebound and run, so we tried to shut them down in those situations, but still it is not easy. But I think it was a great offensive performance.”
Nigel Williams-Goss got Real Madrid on the board with a reverse layup while Ante Zizic put points in for Maccabi Tel Aviv to open up the first quarter, Walter Tavares, Adam Hanga, Fabien Causeur added points while Scottie Wilbekin and Zizic did the same but the visitors grabbed a 12-6 lead midway through the period. Wilbekin drilled home a pair of triples, Sergio Llull scored a layup and Guerschon Yabusele hit a 3-pointer, Tavares put points in the paint as did Yabusele but Jalen Reynolds dunked to keep the yellow-and-blue close 25-22 after ten minutes of play.
Alberto Abalde hit a 3-pointer after a gorgeous passing play to begin the second quarter, Angelo Caloiaro answered, Llull notched a 3-point play, Vincent Poirier scored as well while Rudy Fernandez hit a one from long distance to keep Pablo Laso’s team in front 36-30 with 7:15 left in the frame. Wilbekin scored high off the glass, Llull came back with a 3-pointer and Yabusele dunked, Hanga raced right by James Nunnally for an easy layup, Williams found points but Yabusele dialed up long distance while Zizic answered inside but Avi Even’s team went into halftime behind 51-41.
Nunnally opened the third quarter with a 3-point play, Caloiaro scored under the basket, Williams-Goss went from deep off the glass as did Nunnally, Wilbekin hit a floater, Hanga and Yabusele answered as Maccabi pulled to within 58-51 midway through the period. Poirier scored in the paint, Zizic and Williams did as well, Reynolds hit a pair of baskets, Llull took the ball to the hoop twice and then hit a bank shot triple to end the frame with Real ahead 73-61.
Wilbekin and Hanga traded buckets to start the fourth frame, Derrick Williams went from deep, Yabusele scored in the paint and Abalde added another bucket to give Madrid a 81-66 lead with under 6 minutes left in regulation time. Wilbekin scored off the glass, Poirier scored in the paint and then dunked, Sorkin returned the favor at the other end, Nunnally went from deep but it was too little too late as Real wrapped up the win and a 3-0 sweep.