A decisive run in the fourth quarter sends Maccabi Next Urban Haifa to the final
29-04-2022 | 18:15Maccabi Next Urban Haifa will play Hapoel Nofar Energy Galil Elion in the final of Delasport Balkan League. That became a fact after the Israeli side defeated BC Balkan 86-81 in the second semifinal. Maccabi was a slightly better team in the first half but in the second the game became closer. A fourth quarter run put the Israelis ahead for good and they held on after that. Balkan will now play the hosts Ironi Rain Nahariya for 3rd place on Sunday while the final will start at 20:30.
Maccabi led in the first half as the team tried to pull away, but the opponent always responded. Thanks to a 9-0 run in the second quarter the difference reached 10 points but Balkan answered to close the gap to 6 at the break.
The second half started with both teams exchanging baskets before Balkan managed to finally come closer. The Bulgarian team not only did that but even took the lead for a moment as after 30 minutes the score was tied. An 8-0 run around the middle of the final quarter gave Maccabi a 7-point advantage. That turned out to be the decisive moment of the game as Balkan couldn’t recover after it. With 48 seconds to play Balkan cut the deficit to just 4 but a triple by Vaughn right after that stopped any hopes of the Bulgarian team for a successful comeback.
The winners were led by Kwame Vaughn who finished with 23 points. Steve Taylor also did well for a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds as Raphiael Putney was close to him with 18 and 13.
The top scorer for Balkan was Derrick Marks with 20 points as he also added 5 assists. Ahmaad Rorie had 18 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds as DeVaughn Washington added 16 points and 7 rebounds.
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