U18 Maccabi Tel Aviv surprised U18 FC Barcelona 79-85 to lock up its spot in the first place game of the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Patras.
Maccabi surprises Barcelona, reaches first place game
Maccabi allowed just 8 points in the second quarter and took the third quarter 21-33 to finish Group A with a perfect 3-0 record. Next up is a date against U18 Stellazzurra Rome on Sunday with a trip to the ANGT Finals at stake. Tomer Agmon paced Maccabi with 19 points, Shachar Doron scored 17 points, Ido Menchel had 14 and Ofri Naveh picked up 11 points and 9 rebounds in the win. Martin Iglesia tallied 28 points and 13 rebounds for the 2016 continental champion Barcelona, which will play for third place after finishing with a 2-1 record in Group A. Dayan Nessah scored 14 points and Rafa Villar added 12 points, 7 assists and 4 steals.
The battle was on from the very start with Iglesias and Nessah helping Barcelona pull ahead 9-5 while Agmon hit two three-pointers and Naveh also connected from deep and Maccabi was up 11-13. Iglesias picked up four more points and the Spanish side led 17-13. Maccabi finished the first quarter with a 1-6 spurt and led 18-19 after 10 minutes. Maccabi continued to score early in the second quarter but stepped up its defensive intensity and held Barcelona to just two points in the first nearly 6 minutes to creep 20-26. Iglesias added four more points to get Barcelona slowly going only to see Doron hit a three-pointer and Naveh convert a three-point play and Maccabi led 26-32 at the break.
The cushion swelled to double digits on Niv Avidan’s three-pointer to make it 26-37. Nessah countered with five points for Barcelona but Agmon and Doron both knocked down triples and the margin grew to 35-50. Agmon and Doron each hit another three-pointer and the cushion was 40-62 with Maccabi up 47-65 after 30 minutes. Maccabi just did not let up and used the three-pointer some more with Omer Mayer and Menchel hitting from downtown and a 54-75 lead with 7 minutes left. Barcelona trimmed the gap to 12 points a couple of times but each time Maccabi came up with an answer - including Menchel stealing it from Iglesias and hitting a layup to make it 68-82 with 109 seconds left. Daniel Iruela hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds to cut the deficit to seven - 75-82 - but Maccabi punched right back with a fast break layup to decide the game for good.