Maccabi Electra won 65-82 at Union Olimpija
Maccabi Electra came alive late to put away Union Olimpija 65-82 at Tivoli Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and remain in first place in Group C. The hosts led by 2 early in the fourth quarter and were down 2 with four minutes left before the Israeli champs reeled off 12 unanswered points – 7 of them by Doron Perkins – to take the win and improve to 5-1. Maccabi hosts Caja Laboral in a showdown for the group lead next week. Olimpija fell to 1-5 – two wins behind fourth place Lottomatica Roma – and faces a crucial contest at Maroussi BC in Week 7. The game didn’t look like it would come down to a tense fourth quarter after Alan Andeson and David Bluthenthal led Maccabi on a 0-15 second-quarter run – during which Olimpija head coach Jure Zdovc was ejected – but the hosts regained their cool and fought back to take the lad in the second half. However a sub-par shooting night hurt and Olimoija was unable to convert in the closing minutes, when Perkins led the visitors to the win. Anderson led Maccabi with 15 points – all scored in the first half. Bluthenthal added 14, while Chuck Eidson padded the stats sheet with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. D’Or Fischer had 12 points and Perkins tallied 11 points and 9 rebounds. Vladimir Golubovic led the home team with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocked shots, Saso Ozbolt also scored 14 and Matt Walsh and Sani Becirovic netted 12 apiece in defeat.
Maccabi won the opening tip and went inside to Maciej Lampe for the game;s first points. Becirovic got Olimpija going at the other end with a three-pointer. Ozbolt fed Gasper Vidmar inside for an easy basket, but Maccabi rebounded as Eidson found a cutting Stephane Lasme for a two-handed slam and Anderson stripped Becirovic and sailed in for a dunk. Uros Slokar put the hosts up from the line and Becirovic tacked on 2 more before Maccabi got a jumper from Anderson and another from Fischer for a 9-10 edge. The teams stayed close as Golubovic’s free throws were erased by another Fischer jumper. Ozbolt nailed a three and Walsh darted in for a layup as Olimpija mounted a 4-point edge. Anderson climbed for a layup at the other end, but Golubovic made his presence felt with a basket on the offensive glass. Anderson went to the line to score his seventh point of the quarter, but Golubovic’s slam stretched the hosts’ lead to 5 with a slam. Eidson got on the board with a pair of free throws and Guy Pnini came off the bench for a triple to tie the game at 20-20 after 10 minutes.
Ozbolt opened the second quarter with a triple and Slokar nailed his first three of the season to double the lead to 6. Doron Perkins scored on the break and Bluthenthal drilled a three-pointer as Maccabi quickly closed the gap. Fischer kept the Maccabi momentum going with a block on Slokar and then Anderson scored and drew a foul from Walsh. Zdovc argued the call and was ejected after pounding on the scorekeeper’s table. After the free throws, Pawel Kikowski committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Anderson, who put his team up 7 from the line. After Olimpija came up empty on offense, Anderson drove again, missed this time, but Bluthenthal followed up for a tip-in to extend the run to 0-15. After an Olimpija timeout, Becirovic ended a four-minute scoring drought, but was also called for a technical after saying something to the referee. Walsh drained a long three to the delight of the local crowd, but Pnini kept Maccabi in control. Walsh hit a second three from the top of the key to get his team within 4. A basket by Eidson and 2 free throws by Anderson gave the visitors a cushion before Fischer hit a jumper to make it 36-44 at halftime.
Golubovic opened the second half with a free throw and Walsh stole the ball from Anderson and fed Ozbolt for an easy layup, but Eidson slashed through the Olimpija defense for a slam. Golubovic and Walsh combined on baskets to bring the hosts within 3. Eidson fed Fischer for a two-handed jam to keep Olimpija at bay. However the home team continued to battle and free throws by Ozbolt and a second-chance basket by Golubovic lessened the gap to 2. Dusan Djordjevic unleashed a triple that gave Olimpija its first lead since early in the second quarter, 50-49. Fischer answered for the visitors, but Golubovic tied it from the line. Eidson on the offensive glass and Andrew Wisniewski from the line restored the visitors’ edge. Becirovic scored from the line and after Raviv Limonad made a jumper for Maccabi, Ozbolt flushed 2 free throws to get Olimpija within 55-58 at the end of the quarter.
Becirovic drilled a long jumper and Ozbolt floated in a runner as Olimpija took the lead again early in the fourth quarter. The home defense forced Maccabi into a 24-second violation, but did not take advantage and Maccabi regained the lead on a Bluthenthal triple. Perkins fed Fischer to stretch the lead, but Golubovic tipped in his own miss to keep Olimpija close. Wisniewski scored in transition to get to 61-65 midway through the fourth quarter. Walsh chipped at the lead from the line before Wisniewski beat everyone downcourt for a layup. Perkins further extended the lead from the line and Eidson all but killed Olimpija’s hopes with a triple that made it 63-72 with less that three minutes remaining. Perkins added 3 free throws on the next two possessions and after Bluthenthal blocked Becirovic, Perkins finished with a slam to complete a 0-12 run that won the game for Maccabi.
Thursday, December 3, 2009