Krka showed resiliency and gave Maccabi a scare, but ultimately the powerful Tel Aviv team came away with a tough road victory 81-85. The win makes Maccabi 2-0 in Group B, while Krka slips to 0-2. Anthony Parker led Maccabi with 19 points, including 9 points in the crucial 3rd quarter when the guests took the lead. Nikola Vujcic scored 14, Derek Sharp 12 and newcomer Deon Thomas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Host Krka got 15 points from sharp shooter Slavko Duscak, 14 points from Boris Gnjidic and 11 points with 6 assists from Jason Gardiner. Krka had an answer for all of Maccabi's offenses in the first half, but Maccabi and Parker mounted a comeback in the third quarter and then held on to their slight lead for the remainder of the contest.
Playing in front of its home crowd, Krka got off to a great start. Rick Rickert scored 6 points early and Krka got a boost from the presence of newcomer Ante Grgurevic, immediately ringing up a 6-0 lead. Maccabi struggled to get their offense going against the Krka defense and only Nikola Vujcic and Maceo Baston were able score consistently for Maccabi. Maccabi tried to strike back at Krka by going to a zone difense but Krka had an answer in Alojzij Duscak who drilled two three pointers in the first quarter as Krka grabbed a surprising 24-14 lead after one quarter
Second quartqer started with 0-4 partial for Maccabi, but Krka responded with its own 4-0 run. Krka then pushed its lead to 12 points on Slavko Duscak's 10th point of the young match. Marton Badar then scored his 6th point in the 14 minute, putting Krka ahead 32-20. Maccabi still struggled to gain its footing as Krka's lethal shooting - this time a triple by Marko Antonijevic in the 16th minute made the score 40-26. Maccabi tried with combinated defense but Krka's players manage to find answer on every Maccabi idea. Maccabi was finally able to gain some traction after Krka coach Petar Skansi put some young players Igor Ivaskovic and Jure Balayic on the floor. Sarunas Jasikevicius finally scored his first points of the match in the 19th minute, and Maccabi recovered at the end of the quarter, pulling to within 41-34 at the break.
Maccabi showed real face at the start of the second half. With 5 straight points from Parker they quickly reduced Krka's advantage to 41-39. Maccabi quickly caught Krka at 43-43 in the 24th minute after Deon Thomas scored his 4th pt. In the 27 minute Maccabi took control of the game as Derrick Sharp nailed two triples in a row to make it 49-53. Jason Gardner responded with a triple of his own for Krka but Maccabi rolled to a 49-56 advantage and then 51-59 behind Anthony Parker's strong quarter, in which he scored 9 points. Krka's aggressive defense slowed Maccabi down towards the end of the third but Maccabi had gotten enough momentum to build 57-62 lead at the quarter.
The fourth quarter started with two great shoots from Shelef, including a three pointer. Maccabi then went silent and Krka responded with a triple from Marko Antonijevic, which made the lead 60-65. Maccabi remounted, however after Krka's Rick Ricket was forced to go to the bench after picking up his 5th foul. With Rickert out of the game Maccabi grabbed a 60-70 lead with 5 minute to go. Krka struck back behind youngster Igor Ivaskovic's triple and then baskets by Antonijevic and Bader, pulling to within 70-72 of their guests. Krka finally caught up to Maccabi following 3-pointers from Gbjidic and Grgurevic, which made the score 80-80. Tal Burstein went to the line and made one of two free throws but Maccabi grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to go ahead 80-83. Jasekevicius ended the game with free throws that put Maccabi ahead 81-85 for good.
Thursday, November 13, 2003