Maccabi Tel Aviv rebuffed a feisty Maccabi Ashdod 75-65 to claim its third consecutive Winner Cup title yesterday.
David Logan paced Tel Aviv with 24 points, while Diamon Simpson and Chris Allen scored 20 each for Ashdod. Moran Roth and Lior Eliyahu each added nine for Tel Aviv.
Ashdod kept up with Maccabi Tel Aviv for most of the contest. Ashdod held a 17-13 advantage after the first period. Dror Hagag helped Ashdod with three straight three-pointers, yet his team trailed by a point at halftime. Ashdod retook the lead in the final minute of the third period at 55-53. The underdogs, however, ran out of gas in the final quarter as they watched the game slip away.
Ashdod held a slim 57-56 lead for a couple of minutes as neither side could finish an offensive drive. Then Maccabi Tel Aviv's Ricky Hickman hit a three-pointer - his first basket of the game - with 7:27 minutes remaining. Hickman's score ignited a 14-5 run that virtually sealed the title.
Still, Allen nailed a three-pointer at the two-minute mark to pull Ashdod within five at 70-65, and Ashdod got the ball back. Unfortunately for Ashdod, though, Guni Israeli stepped on the line under Tel Aviv's basket with 1:13 minutes to go and then committed a superfluous foul on Hickman, who was attempting a desperation three-pointer as Tel Aviv's shot clock wound down.
Maccabi Tel Aviv quickly added another five points to put the game out of reach.
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