When analyzing the individual performances in Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv's crucial 84-75 victory over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Thursday night, the stat sheet speaks for itself. One player's contribution stands out: Angelo Caloiaro, who registered 20 points and 11 rebounds, including 6 offensive boards, along with 2 assists and 5 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 33.
However, those numbers don't tell the full story, firstly because Caloiaro's contribution could not be measured by numbers alone. A big reason for Maccabi's victory was its relentless effort – sheer guts and determination. And that mentality was epitomized by Caloiaro, who flew all over the court with incredible energy, feeding off the noise of the home fans to propel his team on an emotional level.
Something else not immediately evident from the stat sheet is the way in which Caloiaro proved absolutely decisive when it mattered the most. With three minutes remaining, Panathinaikos was attempting to mount a comeback and had pulled it back to a four-point difference. That was when Caloiaro decided to take over. First, he exploded to the rim for a put-back slam; then, he drained a three-pointer; then, he drew a foul on a high-octane fastbreak and converted the free throws; and finally, he provided an assist to Tarik Black. That burst of action, all in less than 2 minutes, served to restore a nine-point advantage almost single-handedly and put the outcome beyond doubt.
"Every time we needed a basket, Angelo got it for us just by pure heart," Jake Cohen said of his teammate. "He got us stops on the defensive end. He deserves everything you can say about him tonight."
With Maccabi now well and truly on the charge for a playoffs berth, don't be surprised to see and hear a lot more of Angelo Caloiaro in the next few weeks.