Jack­son in­spires Mac TA to open­ing Euro win

Yel­low-and-blue outscores Bam­berg 33-12 in fourth quar­ter to get cam­paign off on right foot

Jerusalem Post - - SPORTS - R #Z "--0/ 4*/"*

A sen­sa­tional Pierre Jack­son dis­play saw Mac­cabi Tel Aviv open its Euroleague cam­paign with a con­fi­dence-boost­ing 88-71 vic­tory over Brose Bam­berg in Ger­many on Thurs­day night.

The 26-year-old Amer­i­can guard in­spired a game-clinch­ing 18-0 run in the fourth quar­ter, end­ing the night with 27 points (5-of-5 from three-point range), nine as­sists and seven re­bounds. Mac­cabi en­tered the fi­nal 10 min­utes trail­ing by four points (59-55), but Jack­son would score 14 points and regis­ter four as­sists in the fourth frame alone to give the yel­low-and-blue an im­por­tant win to start the sea­son.

“I spent a lot of time to con­vince Jack­son to give up on the NBA and come to Mac­cabi, but if he plays like this the door is go­ing to be open for him,” said Mac­cabi coach Neven Spahija. “I think we did a great job in the last quar­ter. To win against this team is a big step for­ward.”

Michael Roll added 16 points, with Alex Tyus scor­ing 12 points for Mac­cabi, which hosts Basko­nia of Spain next Thurs­day. Nikos Zi­sis net­ted 16 points for Bam­berg.

Bam­berg held a slen­der ad­van­tage through­out the first pe­riod, tak­ing a 20-14 mar­gin into the sec­ond quar­ter. The game re­mained tight and Mac­cabi fi­nally took its first lead with 1:34 min­utes to play in the half cour­tesy of two straight Jack­son bas­kets (35-34).

Mac­cabi was still ahead by a point (37-36) at the in­ter­val, but could only man­age two points in the fi­nal two-and-a-half min­utes of the third pe­riod, al­low­ing the hosts to build a four-point mar­gin (59-55) ahead of the fi­nal 10 min­utes.

The score was still tied (67-67) with six-and-a-half min­utes to play, but Mac­cabi would blitz the Ger­mans and se­cure the win thanks to Jack­son.

Mean­while, Hapoel Jerusalem’s Eurocup cam­paign be­gan with an 86-72 de­feat at Li­etk­a­belis Pan­evezys of Lithua­nia on Wed­nes­day night. Pan­evezys scored the first seven points of the night, but a tight first half would en­sue, with Hapoel hold­ing a two-point edge (42-40) at the break.

There was lit­tle to sep­a­rate the teams for much of the third quar­ter as well, be­fore the hosts burst the game open at the end of the frame. The Lithua­ni­ans scored 11 of the fi­nal 14 points of the pe­riod to open an 11-point gap (69-58) and built on the mo­men­tum at the start of the fi­nal quar­ter, com­plet­ing a 22-5 run to take an unas­sail­able 80-59 lead with seven min­utes to play.

Cur­tis Jer­rells led Jerusalem with 23 points. Austin Daye added 16, while Richard

How­ell had 15 for the guests. Ksistof Lavri­novic paced the win­ners with 20 points.

With the best four teams from each group af­ter a 10-game, round-robin reg­u­lar sea­son, to ad­vance to the Top 16, Jerusalem still has plenty of time to make amends.

“It wasn’t an ideal start for us in this com­pe­ti­tion,” said new Jerusalem coach Fo­tis Kat­sikaris, whose team hosts Buduc­nost in its sec­ond game next Tues­day. “Li­etk­a­belis is in bet­ter game shape be­cause they have played more games than us. They took ad­van­tage of our mis­takes. At half­time we asked for play­ers to play harder, more phys­i­cal but we weren’t smart enough. The play­ers’ re­ac­tion wasn’t cor­rect. We were down, we didn’t ex­e­cute well.”

(Adi Avishai)

MAC­CABI TEL AVIV cen­ter Alex Tyus had 12 points on a per­fect 5-of-5 from the field in last night’s 88-71 win over Brose Bam­berg in Euroleague ac­tion in Ger­many.

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