Darussafaka celebrates Top 16 berth despite losing to Maccabi
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul was the real winner on Thursday even though it lost a close game. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv defeated the Euroleague newcomer 66-70, but it wasn’t by the necessary margin; Maccabi needed to win by at least 11 to advance. As a result, both teams finished with 4-6 records, but Darussafaka placed fourth and went through, while Maccabi is fifth will instead play the Eurocup Last 32 for the first time. Maccabi threatened and led by as many as 6 points in the third quarter, but a 13-2 start to the fourth put the hosts up 62-52. Maccabi rallied back in the closing minutes and knowing that it couldn’t reach the necessary margin by the end of regulation, played for a tie to force overtime. The visitors intentionally missed shots, but when Reggie Redding went to the line with 19 seconds left, he intentionally made only 1 to ensure the game would not be extended. Taylor Rochestie’s triple won the game for Maccabi, but it proved to be a pyric victory. Sylven Landesberg paced Maccabi with 14 points, Jordan Farmar scored 13, Rochestie 12 and Trevor Mbakwe posted 9 points and 10 rebounds. Furkan Aldemir led Darussafaka with 12 points, Jamon Gordon added 11 and Milko Bjelica 10.
First quarter: Harangody and Aldemir spark the hosts
After a clock malfunction in the opening second created a delay, Rochestie sank a pull-up jumper and Luke Harangody nailed a three. Rochestie found Arinze Onuaku inside for a slam, but Harangody hit a baseline jumper and a three-pointer to give the hosts an 8-4 edge. Landesberg crashed the offensive glass for a put-back and foul. Jamon Gordon banked in a jumper and then scored a layup on the break to make it 12-7 midway through the quarter. Rochestie hit a jumper, but Gordon’s long three made it a 6-point game. After a Mbakwe jumper, Semih Eren got on the scoreboard with a spin move and slam. Rochestie netted a pair of free throws and Aldemir, fresh off the bench, took a pass from Scottie Wilbekin and dunked it. Landesberg and Guy Pnini hit back-to-back threes to tie the game at 19-19. Aldemir put the hosts back up with a tip-in and finished the quarter with a layup to make it 23-19.
Second quarter: 0-8 run puts Maccabi on top
Farmar hit a three to close the gap, but Wilbekin impressed with a floater off the glass. Mbakwe found Brian Randle inside for an easy score, but Bjelica pushed the difference to 28-24 with a triple. Aldemir finished a four-chance attack, but Farmar sank his second three. Another Aldemir put-back prompted a Maccabi timeout at 32-27. Onuaku put back his own miss and Farmar split free throws to bring the visitors within 2. Ender Arslan connected from downtown for Darussafaka. Farmar drove for a baseline layup to keep the visitors close. Rochestie lobbed a pass inside for an Onuaku layup. Neither team scored for more than three-and-a-half minutes before rookie Itay Segev’s tip-in gave Maccabi a 35-36 lead. Yogev Ohayon added free throws to make it 35-38 at the break.
Third quarter: Maccabi goes up by 6, but Darussafaka rallies
A triple by Manu Markoishvili tied it, but Onukau overpowered Erden for a score and Landesberg spun on the baseline to make it 38-42. Devin Smith’s first points came on a one-hander in the lane that brought Maccabi within 5 of its goal. Wilbekin answered with a three-pointer and then went through the Maccabi defense for a layup that made it 43-44. Erden was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Landesberg, who split the free throws and then hit a shot with his toes on the three-point line. After Gordon hit a baseline floater, Randle banked in a bucket. After a series of turnovers, Gordon’s steal and great pass to Reggie Redding made it a 2-point game. Randle split free throws and Bjelica made 2 to put 49-50 on the scoreboard.
Fourth quarter: Maccabi’s late strategy fails, settles for pyric victory
Back-to-back threes by Bjelica and Redding gave Darussafaka a 15-point cushion in respect to advancing. Redding added a free throw before a Mbakwe jumper ended a four-plus minute stretch for the visitors without a basket. After a Marcus Slaughter tip-in, the hosts got an Aldemir slam off an inbounds play and a Bjelica slam in the break to cap a 13-2 start to the quarter and give Darussafaka a 10-point lead. Farmer hit a jumper with less than five minutes left and Landesberg buried a three-pointer. Mbakwe added 3 free throws over two possessions to make it 62-60. After Wilbekin split free throws, Rochestie tied the game with a three-pointer. Mbakwe free throws capped a 1-13 run to put the visitors on top. Gordon free throws tied it again. Maccabi chose to play for overtime. Farmar and Rochestie intentionally missed free throws to keep the game tied in the final minute. But after an offensive rebound by
Redding, he made 1 free throw with 19 seconds left for a 66-65 lead and intentionally missed the second. A Rochestie triple in the closing seconds won the game for Maccabi, but it would be a pyric victory.
Thursday, December 17, 2015