Maccabi bounces back with roadkill vs. ASVEL

By Eurohoops team / [email protected]

Maccabi Tel Aviv entered the match against ASVEL Villeurbane not only looking for a win after two straight losses but also for a strong display that could mark a true return to form.

They achieved both. With James Nunnally scoring 25 points, Maccabi beat ASVEL 93 – 85 on the road in their best performance this season so far.

“We won a fight,” Nunnally said. “It’s another game we gotta win. Every game matters. Very important victory. We didn’t have a preseason so all these games count to getting better. We played bad in Milan in the first half, better in the second half, and we have to keep getting better. That’s what it’s about. Keep getting better and learning how to play together. Just do the little things correct.”

Two days after the triumph against reigning champ Anadolu Efes and possibly the biggest win in its recent EuroLeague history, ASVEL suffered its first loss of the season. Elie Okobo delivered 23 points and former Maccabi player Chris Jones had 14 points for the French side.

Jalen Reynolds added 17 points and five rebounds for Maccabi that led from the end of the first quarter until the rest of the game. Giannis Sfairopoulos’ players took a double-digit lead in the second period and even went up by 15 five minutes into the second half.

ASVEL cut its deficit to eight with 3:44 to play but Maccabi had the necessary answers to not allow its opponents to get any closer. Keenan Evans immediately responded with a triple and Nunnally drained the dagger from beyond the arc for the 93 – 80 with 1:13 to play to more or less seal his team’s comeback to victories.

Still room for growth

While Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Giannis Sfairopoulos described the game of his team as the “best until now” he expects improvement in a lot of areas.

“A very important win for us,” Sfairopoulos said. “We wanted to play a good game to make a start. Today was very concentrated and focused. We controlled the game from the beginning to the end and I want to congratulate our players. They deserve this win. We didn’t play well until now, this is our best game until now and we have a lot of things to improve, of course. I think we will play even better than today.”

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

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