Maccabi Tel Aviv ended last night (Thursday) its double week in Spain with an important away victory against Lancia 93:94, and achieved its third away victory of the season in the Euroleague in a fight against a direct rival for a place in the playoffs, which brought it back to a positive balance of 11:12.
After a first half that was under the control of the host, who even gained a double-digit lead, the yellows entered the third quarter with completely different energies, presented a strong defense, exploded offensively and took the lead, after scoring 34 points in the quarter against only 23 of the host.
The Bats didn't break and tied the game with half a minute left in a dramatic fourth quarter, but a key basket by Wade Baldwin decided the contest.
"We played against a team that plays at a very high pace. In the first half there was a lot of frustration because we were one step behind them in every move and they scored at a very high percentage," noted Oded Ketch at the end.
"We talked at halftime about the importance of staying together and not breaking up because we realized we could do it."
Without Lorenzo Brown, who continued to be absent due to an ankle injury, Ketch looked for other players to take command and lead the team on the offensive side alongside Baldwin, and he found it in John DiBartholomew (17 points and a Euroleague career high with 5 three-pointers) and Bonzie Colson (17 points and 12 rebounds) ) who helped him and took some of the offensive burden off him with 34 joint points.
"Since the beginning of the season, we've been getting great things from John DiBartholomew and Bonzie Coulson," Ketch complimented his players and noted the mental change as the key to victory.
"I'm happy about the character we showed, we went into halftime in a bad mental state, but we talked about it at halftime and promised ourselves that we would stay together."
Bonzie Colson, who was chosen as the outstanding player of the game, shared his feelings at the end: "We started the game very soft and allowed them to make easy baskets. We needed the half to reset and in the second half we came out with an attitude of being aggressive against them. It was a big team win for us, we needed it ".
"We struggled throughout the season in the away games and I hope we will continue from here with the momentum to win more away from home. The second half shows the character that this team has, despite being behind and missing some players, they knew how to step up and achieve an important victory."
After the match, the Yellows will return to Israel and begin preparations for their next local match on Sunday, when they will host Hapoel Be'er Sheva/Dimona at the Menorah Temple.
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