By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Jake Cohen and Scottie Wilbekin scored 16 points each in a balanced effort on both sides of the floor. Angelo Caloiaro, who was registered in the EuroLeague for the first time of the season, replacing in the rotation injured Omri Casspi, also did an excellent job with nine points and five rebounds.
“It hasn’t been ideal for me, but I’m blessed, I’m here playing basketball. It’s Thanksgiving back home so, hi to my family; I love you guys! I’m just glad to be back,” said Caloiaro after the final buzzer.
The guests stayed relatively close in the first period, trailing by three (20-17), but Maccabi couldn’t be stopped and led by 20 at the end of the third (67-47).
In the duel of the NBA lottery prospects, Deni Avdija had two points in 12 minutes of action for the winning side, while Theo Maledon had 10 points and also four turnovers on 21 minutes on the court.
Maccabi has a solid 7-4 record after this win, while ASVEL dropped to 5-6 and has more defeats than wins for the first time in the season.
“We needed this win for a lot of reasons”
For Maccabi coach Giannis Sfairopoulos, this win was an important morale boost: “We needed this win for a lot of reasons. We will get confidence and we returned to our regular style of basketball on defense and offense. I am very happy about the reaction of our players after three loses (ed.note: Two in the EuroLeague and one for the Israeli cup). Everybody gave the maximum, this is a team win. Everybody gave their heart to the team”.
Caloiaro was the odd man out when Casspi was signed, however, he still has a contract with Maccabi, and coach Sfairopoulos wanted to stress the importance of his performance: “I want to make an exception and talk about Angelo Caloiaro. He helped the team a lot and he was a great addition. I want to thank the owners who gave us the chance to use him. He is humble, he worked by himself when he was out of the team, he has quality, he knows us and we know him”.
ASVEL coach Zvezdan Mitrovic admitted that his team had a difficult task: “We tried to fight in the first half, but it was very difficult. We lacked energy in defense in the second half, we made some terrible shot selection and Maccabi played really great. After three defeats in the row, they were really motivated. For us everything is new, we try to gain experience and every win we get is like a trophy”.
Photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv