Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv successfully defended its Israeli League championship after holding off a late charge from Maccabi Rishon LeZion for an 86-81 victory at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Tuesday night. It was the third successive championship and 54th overall for Maccabi. Amar'e Stoudemire was named Final Four MVP after scoring 18 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in the championship game to lead all Maccabi scorers. He came up big with a pair of key late baskets and 2 free throws for the winners. Othello Hunter and Sandy Cohen added 16 points each and Tyler Dorsey netted 14 points for Maccabi. D'Angelo Harrison set an Israeli Final Four record with 38 points for Rishon. Oz Blayzer tallied 13 points and Alex Hamilton in defeat.
Deni Avdija sank a three and assisted to Hunter twice in an 8-0 run that gave Maccabi an early 17-8 edge. Harrison kept Rishon alive, but back-to-back threes by Dorsey boosted the margin to double figures, 27-16. Harrison's third three of the quarter made it 29-21 after 10 minutes. Blayzer narrowed the gap to 5 early in the second quarter, however Dorsey remained hot and extended the difference to 48-31. Sandy Cohen added a triple as the lead reached 22 before Hamilton scored twice to bring Rishon within 54-36 at halftime. Rishon scored the first 5 points of the second half and Hamilton's first triple of the night drew his team within 63-53 late in the third quarter. Rishon even lowered the difference to 8 before a dunk by Hunter gave Maccabi a 69-59 cushion through three quarters. Maccabi had no answer for Harrison, who scored 5 quick points before a dunk by Blayzer made it 75-70. Rishon fought to within 82-81 on free throws by Harrison with 51 seconds remaining. However, free throws by Stoudemire and Scottie Wilbekin gave Maccabi a two-possession lead and Rishon ran out of time.