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Maccabi puts Perkins, Mekel at point
by: Yarone Arbel, Tel Aviv
August 30, 2009
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv completed its roster for the upcoming Euroleague season with the addition of two point guards who were last season's Israeli League MVP and Best Newcomer, respectively. Doron Perkins signed with Maccabi for two seasons, with a team option for the second, while Gal Mekel returns to Maccabi after having been on loan one season. Perkins (188, 26) was voted as the MVP of the Israeli League last season when he marched Maccabi Haifa Heat to the finals of both the league and the national cup. He posted averages of 15.8 points, 5.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds in the regular season, showing his all-around game and great defensive skills. After one-year break, Perkins will rejoin forces with another Maccabi player, D'or Fischer. Both had shared the same jersey for two seasons in a row, in 2006-07 for German side EWE Baskets Oldenburg and the following season at Euphony Bree in Belgium. Perkins led the Belgian League that season in assists and steals. Before playing in Europe, Perkins has spent a season in Japan with Toyota Alvark, winning that country's club title, and two years in Santa Clara College. In addition to Perkins, Maccabi announced the return of Mekel (192, 21), who also took over the starting point guard position on the Israeli national team this summer. Mekel grew up in Maccabi's juniors before leaving to play at Wichita State University, where he spent two years. At the end of his second year, in 2007-08, he signed a multi-year deal with Maccabi, but was on loan last season to Galil Elyon of the Israeli League. Mekel made his breakthrough midway through last season, and was named domestic monthly MVP for April after helping Galil Elyon reach the Israeli League semifinals. During the team's quarterfinal victory, Galil became the first Israeli team ever to win Game 5 of a playoff series on the road. Mekel and Galil lost to Maccabi in the semifinals by a single basket, but he was rewarded by being named the Israeli League's best newcomer award for 2009.
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