Wilbekin wills Maccabi to 69-68 win over Bayern in Euroleague opener

Sep 30, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by Bayern Munich 69-68 as Scottie Wilbekin scored 13 of his 28 points in the final frame to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat to get their Euroleague campaign started with a win.

In front of a packed Yad Eliyahu the Yellow & Blue came out flying and went up by 16 points midway through the second quarter on the strength of Wilbekin’s play along with John DiBartolomeo and James Nunnally. However, the Andrea Trinchieri’s team came storming back as former Maccabi forward Deshaun Thomas and center Othello Hunter along with ex-Holon guard Corey Walden to take 63-54 lead early on in the final frame.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

However, Wilbekin took the bull by the horns and started hitting from the outside, the inside and made two key free throws with 29 seconds remaining in the game to seal the one point victory by scoring 13 of Maccabi’s 15 fourth quarter points.

Wilbekin led the way with 28 points, John Dibartolomeo added 8 points and James Nunnally chipped in with 7 points in the win. Deshaun Thomas scored 15 points, Corey Walden added 14 points and Othello Hunter scored 10 points in the loss.

Augustine Rubit – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Bayern Munich got on the board first via Augustine Rubit, but James Nunnally answered tight back from deep as the squads kept up a high tempo pace early on. Scottie Wilbekin put down a floater in the lane and Keenan Evans added a layup while Darrun Hilliard and Corey Walden did the damage at the other end with Maccabi holding a slight 13-10 lead with 4:55 left in the first quarter.

Walden scored off the glass, John Dibartolomeo went from downtown and Jalen Reynolds turned Othello Hunter inside out and jammed the ball as the Yellow & Blue began to create separation. Wilbekin stripped the ball and went from deep, Iftach Ziv went strong into the lane for a layup and Wilbekin scored yet again with a last second floater to give Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad a 25-18 advantage after ten minutes.

John DiBartolomeo and Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Dibartolomeo got the second quarter off to a flying start as he drilled home a corner triple while Wilbekin bumped his game total to 13 points with a 3-pointer of his own forcing Andrea Trinchieri to call time out with 7:48 left in the first half.

Wilbekin stole the ball and set up DiBartolomeo for a reverse layup, Kameron Taylor and Angelo Caloiaro scored their first points of the game from inside the paint. But Deshaun Thomas, Zan Sisko and Othello Hunter pulled points back for Bayern as the German team went on a 12-3 run to end the frame and cut the Maccabi lead to 40-32.

Jalen Reynolds and Othello Hunter – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Thomas for Bayern and Reynolds for Maccabi scored inside for their respective teams but Hunter put added points and Nick Weiner-Babb went from beyond the arc to bring down the deficit to just 1-point, 42-41 as Sfairopoulos called time with 7:03 left in the third quarter.

Bayem kept putting in points as Thomas with a mini-hook, Weiler-Babb drained another 3-pointer and Hunter scored on the fast break as Trinchieri’s team grabbed a 48-42 lead on a 16-2 run to begin the period. Nunnally and Wilbekin scored, Hilliard and Rubit did the same at the other end but Sorkin and Williams were able to pull to within 58-54 after thirty minutes of action.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Thomas and Hunter got things going for Bayern in the fourth quarter while Maccabi came up empty over the first 3:12 of the frame as Trinchieri’s crew extended their lead to 63-54. Wilbekin hit an off balance 3-pointer, Reynolds scored inside, Wilbekin went from deep again and then put in a layup and-one to tie the game up at 65-65 with 3:17 left in regulation time.

Wilbekin put the ball off the glass and in, Walden came back with a long triple to retake the lead but Wilbekin drained two free throws with 29 seconds left while Thomas and Hilliard missed their final shots of the game as Maccabi snatched the 1-point win.

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