Maccabi Electra edges Munich and clinches third place
In a virtual must-win game for both sides, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv edged Bayern Munich 92-94 at the Audi Dome to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth straight season and eliminating Munich from the playoff race. Maccabi will face EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in the playoffs. A dramatic and high-scoring game came down to the wire; close throughout the first three quarters, Maccabi held Bayern to one basket over a nine minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters to claim a double-digit lead. However Bayern rallied in the closing minutes and Maccabi struggled from the free throw line. The hosts had several shots to tie the score or take the lead. In the end, Malcolm Delaney went to the line down 3 in the closing seconds. After he made the first, Delaney intentionally missed the second, but Alex Tyus was first to the rebound to cap a strong effort and send Maccabi into the next stage. With the win Tel Aviv snapped a four-game road losing streak and improved to 8-5 in Group F. Tyrese Rice paced the Maccabi attack with 18 points and 5 assists against his former team. Tyus tallied 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, David Blu made 4 of 6 three-pointers en route to 14 points, Ricky Hickman scored 13 and Sofoklis Schortsanitis had 11. Munich dropped to 5-8 despite strong efforts from Bryce Taylor, who scored 22 points, and Malcolm Delaney, who amassed 17 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Deon Thompson added 16 points and Nihad Djedovic 14 in defeat. Bayern games are known for having famous spectators in the crowd and this game was no different as it drew the biggest names from Munich’s soccer club including regular guest Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery, Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos and club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
First quarter: Thompson’s 10 for Bayern answered by 11 from Maccabi’s Blu
Bayern coach Svetislav Pesic made two changes to his line-up with Taylor and John Bryant starting alongside Delaney, Djedovic and Thompson. Maccabi coach David Blatt swapped one player with Blu in the first five with Yogev Ohayon, Hickman, Devin Smith and Schortsanitis. Big Sofo scored the first basket with a hook over Bryant. Tel Aviv started in a zone and Munich found the space for a Thompson dunk and then after a Delaney steal Djedovic nailed a three-ball for an early 5-2 lead. A Schortsanitis three-point play cut it to 8-7, but Maccabi could not get much working on offense early on. Bayern meanwhile was hitting inside and outside with Thompson completing a three-point play and hitting a long ball to open a 21-12 lead - with Thompson already scoring 10 points. While Delaney was hitting shots to keep Bayern ahead, Blu nailed a pair of three-pointers plus 2 free throws to keep Maccabi as close as 25-22. Rice took over the scoring then with three baskets - including one at the buzzer to knot the game at 32-32.
Second quarter: After nine lead changes and two ties, teams still tight
Joe Ingles came off the Tel Aviv bench to open the second quarter scoring and put Maccabi ahead 32-34. Benzing answered with a three to push Bayern back ahead and it was 37-34 after Chevon Troutman’s basket. A Tyus dunk and Ingles three moved Maccabi back in front, 38-39. Delaney and Hickman swapped threes and the lead continued to go back and forth with a Bryce Taylor three-point play and a Rice triple for a 44-45 Maccabi advantage. Bayern coach Pesic called a timeout and his team responded with a Thompson tip-in and Taylor breakaway dunk. Maccabi punched right back after a timeout with a Rice triple from the right corner and a Schortsanitis score to put the guests up 48-50. Taylor would even the game with free throws and then put Munich up 53-52 with a triple as the game continued to go back and forth. After Djedovic free throws, Taylor converted a three-point play to give Bayern a 58-52 lead. The gap was down to 58-54 at halftime after foul shots from Ohayon.
Third quarter: Maccabi allows one basket in final six minutes
Djedovic’s layup started the second half with Ohayon getting Maccabi on the board with a fast break layup at the other end. A Schortsanitis hook and Tyus inside score trimmed the deficit to 62-60, but Taylor scored another basket and Djedovic hit free throws to push the lead back to 6 points. Rice hit a long jumper but, Guy Pnini missed free throws and the chance to trim the deficit to 1. Delaney made the guests pay with a four-point play to open a 70-63 advantage. HIckman came back and nailed a triple and split free throws before Tyus completed a three-point play to even the game again. Smith continued Maccabi’s free throw woes - spitting two for a 70-71 lead, though Tel Aviv had made just 8-of-14 from the charity stripe until then. Delaney also made 1 to even the game before Hickman nailed a three for a 71-74 lead.
Fourth quarter: Despite struggles from the line, Maccabi puts it away late
Hickman split free throws to start the fourth quarter and give Maccabi a 71-75 lead. Benzing got 2 points back with free throws but Pnini nailed a triple at the other end, and Hickman converted a layup as the lead grew to 73-80. Benzing missed twice from the charity stripe and Blu upped the cushion to 73-83 with a three-ball from the right corner. Taylor got a tip-in for Bayern’s first basket of the quarter after three minutes, ending a nine-plus minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters with just one basket. But Maccabi pulled away further with Pnini nailing another three as the lead increased to 75-86 with six minutes left. The 20-year-old Paul Zipser came off the Bayern bench for a driving layup and Thompson scored a layup to get the crowd back into the game. And the Audi Dome went crazy when Taylor drained a three from the right corner to make it 82-86. After Tyus split free throws, Zipser cut the gap to 2 with free throws. But Pnini came up with another big three to make it 84-90. Rice split free throws and Zipser converted a three-point play to bring Bayern to within 89-91. Rice again split free throws with 35 seconds left, which allowed Delaney to make it 91-92 with foul shots with 7 seconds left. Bayern sent Rice to the line again with 6.1 seconds left and the former Munich guard made both for a 91-94 lead. Delaney went back to the line with 2.5 seconds left and made the first. He missed the second on purpose, but Tyus grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
Thursday, April 3, 2014