Maccabi Next Urban Haifa goes to the Final 4 after second win over Levski
21-04-2022 | 18:50Maccabi Next Urban Haifa is the last team to qualify for the Final 4 of Delasport Balkan League. The Israeli team defeated BC Levski 2014 for second time in a row and advanced through to the finals of the competition. Maccabi won 97-86 and after having an 8-point advantage following Game 1, were comfortable winners in the overall tie. This way the team joins fellow Israeli sides – Ironi Rain Nahariya and Hapoel Nufar Energy Galil Elion, and the BC Balkan from Bulgaria. On Firday, a draw will determine the semifinal pairings.
The teams exchanged baskets and lead early as Maccabi was able to pull away by 8 points after scoring 6 in a row just after the middle of the first quarter. Until the end of it the difference came down to 3 points and in the second quarter things continued to be the same with the teams going after each other. Near the end of the period a 10-1 run put Maccabi up by 10 points and at the break the advantage the Israelis had was 9.
In the third quarter Maccabi was able to control the difference. The visitors kept leading with their advantage being around 10 points as they stopped any attempt for a run by Levski. After 30 minutes the margin was 12 points, and the series was pretty much decided. Still the home side didn’t give up and thanks to a solid 11-2 start to the final quarter, cut the deficit to just 5 points. Vaughn hit an important jumper for Maccabi right after that and that triggered a 9-0 run which decided the outcome of the contest.
Raphniel Putney was the top performer for the winners with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Steve Taylor and Admon Gilder also did well by scoring 16 points apiece as total of five players scored in double figures.
Zane Knowles was the top performer for the home side with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds as Joshua Parker added 15 points. The Blues were without Ivica Radic and Mario Little, but the important news was the return of Chavdar Kostov after two months.
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