Fifteen years have passed since Maccabi Tel Aviv’s last victory over Barcelona in Spain, 15 years that came to an end last night (Friday). The Yellows, who reached Palau in Organa with a negative balance and after a dramatic loss to Villarban, achieved a huge 67:68 over the Catalans and squeezed compliments, of course, also from the Catalan media.
The one who was in the center of things is the outstanding player in yellow, Dragon Bender, who recorded a Euroleague record of 15 points against one of the toughest rivals in the factory. “The Croatian, who was selected in fourth place in the 2016 draft by Phoenix, showed a lot of talent and was Maccabi’s engine in the opening,” the Spanish media wrote.
In Catalonia, they were not satisfied with that and praised the Yellows with bombastic headlines: “Barcelona fell against Maccabi”; “Maccabi Tel Aviv’s defense drowned Barça”; “It could be one of those nights that changes a season and launches it into the playoffs.”
The one who sounds less enthusiastic is Sharas, the Barcelona coach, who lost to the ex and the coach who is used to losing points in front of him. “Congratulations to Yannis and Maccabi,” he said Sharas. “It took us a while to figure out their game plan. We put in a lot of effort, some of my players fell off their feet at the end of the game. In big games like this the small details are crucial, we missed a lot of shots that could have closed the game.”
“I knew from the beginning that we were going to have a hard and different battle from the game against Moscow Khimki,” Sharas continued. “If you lose, then so be it. Brandon Davis? He’s very important to us, especially in the face of defensive changes like Yannis’s. However, that’s not an excuse.”
Alex Abrins He added: “It was a very difficult game, both teams played with high intensity. Needless to say, we fought to the end but we made some mistakes. They scored 68 points, in defense we were good, but got stuck a bit in the closing minutes and missed open shots. We had bad luck.” .