Summary: Hapoel Tel Aviv - Paris Basketball 79:95 (Sport 1)
1. Maccabi Tel Aviv last night (Thursday) became the team with the best home record in the Euroleague, after defeating Alba Berlin 74:87 at Hichal.
The yellows went up to a record of 11 wins against nine losses, and at home they stand at nine wins and a single loss.
The game itself was pretty much decided in the opening.
Maccabi ran out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter, and despite parts where the offensive game did not flow smoothly, the victory was not in danger for even one moment.
The big story of the game was the injury of Lorenzo Brown who in the opening minutes twisted his ankle, went down to the dressing room and did not return.
Brown will undergo an MRI this morning that will determine the severity of the injury and how long - if at all - he will be out of action.
Maccabi Tel Aviv hopes that it is not an injury that will cause him to miss an extended period, but the estimates are that he will miss the upcoming games.
In Brown's absence, Wade Baldwin took the reins, scoring a Euroleague career high of 33 points with an index of 35. Besides him, only Bonzie Colson scored in double figures with 11 points and 8 rebounds, with Maccabi getting a contribution from three players who haven't played recently - Darren Hilliard with 9 points , Yafad Ziv with 6 points and Rafi Manko with 8 points in less than 8 minutes.
At the end of the game, the Yellows announced the signing of Suleiman Breimo, who will arrive in Israel even before the Tel Aviv derby that will be held on Sunday, but is not supposed to take part in it.
Braimo's debut in the Maccabi uniform is expected to be in the away game against Olympiakos next week.
Fully recovered from injury.
Baldwin (Photo: Danny Maron)
2. As mentioned, last night's game was Baldwin's night.
The guard, who missed a month of activity due to a hamstring injury, took over the game even before Brown's injury, and from the moment his teammate left, became Maccabi Tel Aviv's main executor, including four uncharacteristic 3-pointers.
At the end of the game, Baldwin was also praised by Shimon Mizrahi who entered the locker room and shook his hand.
"I wanted to influence the game and I was focused on scoring three-pointers, I was 0-for-13 in the last games, the three-pointer in the opening helped my confidence a lot," said Baldwin at the end of the game, "Darren came off the bench and scored three three-pointers, Rafi scored two three-pointers and another shot that ended the game. I've been saying all season that it's a team game and everyone contributes at the right time."
When asked if the injury is finally behind him, Haggard said: "I feel 100 percent, everything is behind me, the game in Madrid was a test, the game against Partizan was less good, but in the last three games I feel very good,
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Hilliard, Manko and Ziv provided a rare contribution to the victory (photo: Danny Maron)
3. Besides Baldwin, Maccabi Tel Aviv received as mentioned a contribution from three players who were not there - Hilliard was not a partner in the last games, Manko did not get opportunities for a long time, and Ziv took the floor at Menorah Hall for the first time this season in the Euroleague.
"I was waiting for it, I'm still waiting, I hope it continues," Ziv said after the game, "I like playing basketball, I'm here to play, my job is to play, I'm glad I got the chance today, due to the circumstances from one injury or another, I was there To take it, I'm glad I did it, and I hope it continues that way."
Manko, who came after an excellent game in the cup against Bnei Herzliya, scored 2 of 2 from beyond the arc after in his previous games in the Euroleague he scored one three-pointer out of 8 attempts, "I felt that I was loosening up a bit, I feel good recently, happy that today I was able to get into my rhythm and help the team, I've said it before. The meaning of a team with us is above every player. Players who play more or less, it doesn't matter. The meaning of being a Maccabi player is to do the best you can at any given moment. The team is bigger than everyone else, and everyone here knows the It".
Maccabi Tel Aviv is in tension for the results of the test.
Brown (Photo: Danny Maron)
4. Brown's injury, together with the illness of Jaylen Adams who missed last night's game and Maccabi Tel Aviv hope that he will recover by Saturday, came at a bad time for Maccabi just before the Tel Aviv derby this Sunday (9:00 PM) at Shlomo Group Hall.
Maccabi wants to maintain a perfect balance this season against Hapoel, but they know that if Brown misses the game, the task will be very difficult.
"I'm excited for the derby. I experienced the derby between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, it's very important for the State of Israel, for Maccabi Tel Aviv. I'm excited for this matchup, I hope everyone will be healthy and we'll be ready for a big fight on Sunday," said Baldwin, who is supposed to lead the line The back of the yellows.
Ziv gave a lot of respect to Hapoel ahead of the game: "It won't be easy, Hapoel is a very good team, the derby has its own rules, after last season we have to come more than Foxes because we received some bombs from them, this is a game for first place in the league, we will prepare accordingly and come to do our best our".
"It is clear to everyone that he will still play here in the future."
Yuval Zussman (Photo: Danny Maron)
5. On the other side of last night's game was Yuval Sussman, in the absence of his friend Tamir Blat who did not come due to the injury to his hand.
Even from the presentation of the players it was clear that Sussman's evening would not be easy, when every time he touched the ball significant boos were heard from the crowd of Maccabi Tel Aviv fans, a reminder of the incident with James Nunley last season.
Apart from Oded Ketch, who spoke in praise of Susman and did not understand the whistles against him, other people in Maccabi Tel Aviv were also deterred by the crowd's whistles: "Yovel is a special and beloved person to us," said one of the Maccabi people, "he will still play here in the future, that is clear to all of us. It's a shame that the audience chose to accept him this way, but it's impossible to turn things back. Let's hope that in the future they will behave differently."
Euroleague and European basketball
Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball