Israel’s Maccabi shatters records in historic Beşiktaş win
Maccabi Tel Aviv players congratulate each other during their Euroleague top 16 basketball match against Olympiakos Piraeus at the Peace and Friendship stadium in Piraeus near Athens on March 22, 2013. AFP PHOTOMaccabi Electra crushed Beşişktaş 101-58 at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv on March 28 to break several Turkish Airlines Euroleague records.
Maccabi led by 18 after 10 minutes, 34 at halftime and 56 through three quarters in a game that was never in doubt.
Coach David Blatt, who has previously coached Efes in Turkey, hinted that his team was gunning for the rout after the first meeting in Istanbul.
“After the previous game with Beşiktaş, [Coach Erman Kunter] said that they played poorly and that we weren’t a strong team,” he said to the Euroleague website. “Today we showed that maybe we’re not as strong as in past years, but we’re still strong enough to rout them.”
The game staged several Euroleague records on a poor night for Beşiktaş.
The final margin of victory, 43, tied for the largest ever in a Top 16 game, first set by Tau Ceramica Vitoria in a 99-56 victory over Lottomatica Roma in 2007.
The difference at halftime set a new Top 16 mark for largest lead at the break, which had belonged to Barcelona Regal, which led Fenerbahçe Ülker 19-50 earlier this season.
Ricky Hickman and Devin Smith scored 16 points apiece to lead five Maccabi scorers in double figures. Nik Caner-Medley added 15 points, Darko Planinic scored 14 and Sylven Landesberg 10 for the hosts. Ricky Minard led Besiktas with 12 points in defeat.
The win put Maccabi on the second spot with an 8-5 winning record. The Israeli champion may book its playoff spot depending on Friday night’s scores.
“We started to play pretty, attractive basketball,” guard Yogev Ohayon said. “I’m glad it happened at the right time.”
Leader Barcelona Regal has won the Group F with 11-1, while BC Khimki, Olympiacos and Montepaschi Siena are also on 7-5 before Friday night’s games. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs.
Beşiktaş is bottom of the group with one win in 13 games. The Turkish champion will end its debut Euroleague campaign with a game against Istanbul rival Fenerbahçe Ülker (2-10) next week.