Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Real Madrid 79-63 in Spain as the Yellow & Blue’s record dropped to 3-6 in Euroleague play. Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad lacked energy from the get go and couldn’t come close to the intensity and performance from last week’s win against Zalgiris as they fell behind by 11 points after ten minutes and were never able to make up the ground.
Facundo Campazzo with 12 assists orchestrated the offense as Gabriel Deck (16 points) and Anthony Randolph (15 points) led the scoring for Pablo Laso’s team as they easily took care of the visitors. Scottie Wilbekin scored 18 points and Ante Zizic added 14 points and 10 redounds in the disappointing loss.
Scottie Wilbekin opened the game with a pair of free throws and Elijah Bryant put a bucket in over Edy Tavares but Gabriel Deck took a brilliant Tavares pass to score from the wing while Alberto Ablade, Facundo Campazzo and Anthony Randolph scored a pair of triples as well to take a 13-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Deck with more points, Campazzo with a floater but Dragan Bender drove to hoop to lay in the ball and then added more points as did Ante Zizic but a 3-pointer by Carlos Alocen who starred for Spain at the Under-20 European Championships in Tel Aviv to give the hosts 29-18.
Tyler Dorsey drained Maccabi’s first triple of the game to get the second quarter off and running, Chris Jones added points but Trey Thompkins scored to give Real a 33-23 advantage with 6:16 left in the first half. Zizic and Dorsey scored but Deck once again found the bottom of the basket as did Campazzo as he may be heading to the NBA very soon and Sergio Llull to give Madrid a 45-32 advantage at halftime.
Wilbekin drilled home a pair of triples but Zizic was stuffed by Tavares in the paint but Wilbekin kept scoring at will and Bender nailed a 3-pointer as well to cut the Real lead to 50-43 midway through the second quarter. Tavares, Deck and Llull all scored as Othello Hunter who returned from injury added points as did Jones but Real stayed ahead 62-50 after thirty minutes.
Randolph and Llull did what they do best, score yet again as Jones and Wlibken countered for Maccabi but Real bumped up their lead to 70-54 with 4:28 remaining in the fourth quarter. Llull put in Campazzo’s 10th assist of the game, Rudy nailed a 3 and Tavares hit a ling range deuce as Madrid rolled over Maccabi 79-63.
1) Deni Avdija. Yes Deni Avdija. Thanks to the Israeli sensation and the NBA Draft, no one will remember this pathetic, uninspired performance as he will find out later tonight which NBA team he will be playing for this upcoming season. Maccabi were never, ever, ever in this game. They kept walked through the game and were down in double digits by the end of the first quarter. The Yellow & Blue wanted to get out of there as fast as possible the game ended in record time, so early that the broadcast team for the Israel National Team’s game against Scotland had to fill so much more time than expected before kickoff. Speaking of short, Coach Sfairopoulos was very, very short with his postgame comments and he looked, well not very happy with no excuses this time. No excuses, no more injury issues, no more late starts to training camp, no more not enough preseason games, no more of that. He was straight and to the point, “Real played from the first moment very good and we didn’t come to fight it was obvious we weren’t in the game from the first to last moment and I hope that we will do that in the next game.”
2) We all saw why Facundo Campazzo is heading to the NBA. The guard is just an incredible star as he knows exactly how to run a game as he manages the game play and game plan perfectly. The Argentine dished out 12 assists, four more than the entire Maccabi Tel Aviv team! Campazzo will be a perfect fit for a number of teams as we may have witnessed his last game for Real Madrid, “We played great basketball and did a great job. I think we missed a lot of balls, had a lot of turnovers, so we have to work on the minimum details and think forward to the next game.” The question is, will HE be there for the next game? All signs point to the 29-year old heading across the Atlantic to further his hoops career.
3) I have always been a fan of Gabriel Deck. The Argentinian forward is a super talent and at the age of 25 maybe this is the game that we are finally seeing some of what he can do on the court. Deck hasn’t had the best of seasons in Euroleague this campaign with 5,2,0,2,2,3 points up until his 16 point outburst but in ACB he’s averaging a shade over 8 per game. Perhaps Maccabi was the right medicine he needed to get going. One way or the other, I do hope that Deck reaches his full potential and off it’s not at Real Madrid maybe it will be someplace else, “At all times, I try to help the team, as always. In this roster, there are a lot of players who can score, so you have to try to play the best you can.”