Wilbekin leads Maccabi Tel Aviv to game one win over Gilboa

Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Gilboa Galil 83-74 to take game one of the finals as the yellow-and-blue will have a chance to wrap up the best of three series on Wednesday night up north in Gan Ner. Angelo Caloiaro and John DiBartolomeo helped Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s side open up a small lead over the course of the first half as Jehyve Floyd countered for Avishay Gordon’s team. However, the game’s MVP Scottie Wilbekin moved into high gear over the course of the final frame to close out the victory.

Wilbekin led the way with 24 points, Caloiaro added 16 points and Ante Zizic scored 11 points in the win. Floyd was the Gilboa high scorer with 17 points, Iftach Ziv chipped in with 13 points and Kerry Blackshear scored 10 points in the defeat.

Ante Zizic – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Ante Zizic scored in the paint while Scottie Wilbekin and Angelo Caloiaro went from deep for Maccabi Tel Avi. as Jehvye Floyd countered with a pair of baskets inside for Hapoel Gilboa Galil but the yellow-and-blue stayed in front 13-4 midway through the first quarter. Iftach Ziv went in for a layup, Netanel Artzi scored a corner 3-pointer and Kerry Blackshear scored off a broken play in the paint, but Caloiaro continued with the hot hand from downtown as the hosts held a 21-15 lead after ten minutes of play.

Angelo Caloiaro – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

John Dibartolomeo drilled home a pair of triples to open the second quarter while Othello Hunter added a bucket inside as Blackshear scored for visitors as Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s team held the upper hand 31-20 with 6:22 left in the period. Artzi went off the glass, Joe Thomasson hit a baseline jumper and Blackshear scored a reverse layup, but Omri Casspi tipped the ball in, Zizic powered inside, Caloiaro added yet another 3-pointer and Jones scored an off balance jumper. However, Isaiah Cousins scored a pair of baskets and Thomasson dialled up long distance to cut the Maccabi advantage to 42-36 at halftime.

Omri Casspi – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

The yellow-and-blue put in free throws to begin the third quarter but Floyd raised the ire of the Maccabi fans with two monster dunks, however, baskets by Caloiaro and Wilbekin kept the home team in the lead 50-42 midway through the frame. Ziv and Artzi came right back with baskets but Casspi scored inside and outside to raise the roof and Jones went in for a layup to keep the hosts in front 57-50 after thirty minutes of end to end action.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Wilbekin put in a pair of left handed baskets to get the fourth quarter off and running, Dibartolomeo drilled home a triple but Floyd and Ziv answered at the other end of the court to stay close down 66-57 with 6:13 remaining in regulation time. Zizic scored in a broken play, Wilbekin beat his defender for a straight path to the hoop, Cousins and Floyd scored for Gilboa but Wilbekin came right back down and nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to bump the lead up to 73-63 with three minutes left in the period. Ziv scored a dead center 3-pointer, Yovel Zoosman checked in with his first points of the night with a baseline layup and Zizic added points inside to wrapup the game one win.

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