Teamwork: Maccabi Tel Aviv drops Alba Berlin to move home record to 9-1

Jan 19, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv continued their fine form at home in Euroleague play as they defeated Alba Berlin 87-74 to move their record at Yad Eliyahu to 9-1. Wade Baldwin starred with 33 points as he scored at will but on the downside the Yellow & Blue lost star guard Lorenzo Brown to an ankle injury.

Oded Katash’s squad jumped all over the German squad right out of the gate as seven different players scored in the first frame with Wade Baldwin leading the way and Darrun Hilliard hitting an off balance 3-pointer at the end of the period but Gabriele Procida and Jaleen Smith got busy yo pull Alba back to within 10-points 38-28 at halftime.

But Baldwin proved to be unstoppable over the course of the second half as the guard scored 21 points while Bonzie Colson and Israelis Rafi Menco and Iftach Ziv also got involved to finish off the 13-point win.

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Baldwin scored 33 points and dished out 6 assists to end the game with an efficiency rating of 35, Colson added 11 pointed and Hilliard scored 9 points in the win. Procida and Smith paced Alba with 12 points a piece in the loss.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“I liked the way we played, except the first few minutes of the second quarter,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash said. “We missed some key players, two important guards, but I liked the way the players stepped up. This was a solid good game not a huge game. Some think it’s an easy win when you play Alba at home, but that’s not the case.”

Israel Gonzalez – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Israel Gonzalez, the Alba Berlin coach looked back at the game, “Maccabi played a very good game and have played well at home. We had problems with the squad and injuries and we rotated to get extra energy but Maccabi took advantage. They built up and early lead, we cut the lead to 6 points, but Baldwin scored many shots which decided the game.”

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

The game MVP Wade Baldwin reflected on the contest, ”I felt good, especially seeing my first three go in. 0 for 13 in my last attempts so it was good to get a couple today. Everybody stayed together, we made shots, we had guys contribute all over the bench. Lorenzo [Brown] went down and other guys stepped up.”

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“I think we stuck to the game plan like the coach pointed out this week,” Bonzie Colson said. “We played hard, we executed and it’s a good win for us. We have the best fans in the Euroleague, we all feed off their energy, so it’s great that we have supporters like that… It was a great win for us. Guys came in with energy, played well and we just got to keep this up on both ends of the floor.”

Jake Cohen – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Jake Cohen and Bonzie Colson opened the game up with points inside while Wade Baldwin dialled up long distance and added a layup for Maccabi Tel Aviv as they grabbed a 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Jarell Martin went from deep, John Dibartolomeo and Ben Lammers traded triples, Roman Sorkin added another one from downtown while Dibartolomeo put in an acrobatic layup and Darrun Hilliard nailed a comer 3-ball at the buzzer to give the Yellow & Blue a 25-10 lead after ten minutes of play.

Darrun Hilliard – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Hilliard went from deep to begin the second quarter, Jaleen Smith scored a trio of buckets for Alba Berlin to try to get back into the game but they were still down 30-18 with 5:21 left in the first half. Baldwin hit a midrange, Gabrielle Procida responded with points, as did Christ Koumadje, while Baldwin scored a pair of jumpers to keep Oded Katash’s squad in front 38-28 at halftime.

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Baldwin got the third quarter off and running just as he ended the half with baskets from the inside and outside, Louis Olinde and Yovel Zoosman both scored from deep as Bonzie Colson, Martin and Baldwin from downtown all found the bottom of the bucket to keep Maccabi ahead 50-38 midway through the period. Baldwin dialled up long distance yet again, Colson scored inside, Maodo Lo scored his first bucket of the game, but Hilliard went from the corner, Rafi Menco scored from beyond the arc and Baldwin polished off the frame with another midrange to keep Maccabi in the lead 63-50 after thirty minutes of action.

Iftach Ziv – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Iftach Ziv hit a jumper as the fourth quarter began, Luke Sikma found points for the visitors as did Smith to cut the lead to 67-60 with 5:51 remaining in regulation time. Baldwin scored a pair of baskets out of the timeout, Colson drilled home an elbow 3-pointer, Tim Schneider hit a pair from the comer, Martin and Nebo cleaned up misses and Menco went from deep as Maccabi wrapped up the win.

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