Maccabi Electra routed Partizan mt:s 54-67
Maccabi Electra led from start to finish en route to a convincing 54-67 road win over Partizan mt:s at Pionir Arena in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Maccabi started the game with a 2-18 charge and the hosts never seriously threatened the rest of the way. It was a much different story than Maccabi’s last visit to Belgrade, when Partizan beat the team from Tel Aviv twice to win last season’s Quarterfinal Playoffs series 3-1 and advance to the 2010 Euroleague Final Four. Maccabi improved to 2-1 and joined a four-way tie for first place in Group A. Next week Maccabi visits another of the co-leaders, BC Khimki Moscow Region. Jeremy Pargo had his best game yet in the Euroleague with 17 points to lead the winners. Lior Eliyahu added 13 points and Guy Pnini scored 11. Oliver Lafayette scored 11 for Partizan, which was without star forward Jan Vesely, a late scratch with an injury. Partizan dropped to 1-2 and faces a trip to Poland to meet Asseco Prokom next week.
It was all Maccabi early as Eliyahu used his speed to score the game’s first two baskets. James Gist responded with his first Euroleague basket, but Maccabi continued to roll. Chuck Eidson fed Eliyahu for a slam and before adding free throws of his own and then Doron Perkins converted a three-point play to give Maccabi its first double-digit lead. Pargo got involved with a layup and a triple and suddenly Pionir was silent and Maccabi boasted a 2-18 lead. Gist banked in a three to give the hosts some hope, but Eliyahu spun in the paint for 2 more points and Pargo found Perkins underneath as the lead peaked at 17. Petar Bozic stepped outside for a triple and Vladimir Lucic scored inside to help narrow the gap to 10-23 after 10 minutes.
The second half started with the same physical play that defined the second quarter. Nathan Jawai brought his team within 7 with his first points of the night, but Pargo answered with a triple. Points continued to come at a premium for both teams due to the tremendous efforts on defense, though fouls were starting to pile up. Jawai showed his shooting touch with a baseline jumper. Bozic soon became the first player with 4 fouls when he stopped Pargo from breaking away for a layup. Pargo made the free throws and Blu drilled a triple to push the lead to 26-40. Sofoklis Schortsanitis shined with a big block on defense, but Lafayette managed to peck at the lead with 3 free throws over the next two possessions. Tal Burstein earned a layup to keep the visitors far ahead. Free throws by Dragan Milosavljevic and Rasko Katic narrowed the gap to 11, but triples from Pnini and Blu made it comfortable for Maccabi. Katic’s basket on the offensive glass made it 37-51 with just 10 minutes remaining.
Pnini matched Maccabi’s biggest lead of 17 with a triple to open the fourth quarter. Kecman tried to inspire the hosts with a second-chance basket and a triple. Perkins fed Eliyahu with a long pass to push the lead to 16. Branislav Djekic made 3 free throws and on two separate tripe to the line and Lafayette got the crowd even more involved with an off-balance basket - and the free throw that came with it. Suddenly there was hope in the building. Maccabi struggled to score midway through the fourth quarter and a layup by Gist made it 52-60. Pnini stepped up with a huge three-pointer and free throws by Schortsanitis practically sealed the outcome, 52-65. Partizan kept trying, but despite an incredible crowd, Maccabi had earned an important victory.
Thursday, November 4, 2010