Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (1-0) opened their Turkish EuroLeague season in a packed Menora Mivtachim Arena, beating FC Bayern Munich (0-1) 69-68 (25-18, 15-14, 14-26, 15-10).

Maccabi could not score for more than four minutes in the fourth quarter, with Bayern holding a nine-point advantage (54-63). However, two big 3-point bombs and an and-one from Wilbekin tied the game at 65.

Wilbekin and Walden traded buckets, and Bayern held on to a one-point lead with under a minute left. Wilbekin got fouled and converted both free throws to bring Maccabi back within one (69-68).

Darrun Hilliard had a chance to win the game for Bayern, but his 3-pointer was off the mark, and Maccabi survived with a one-point victory.

Scottie Wilbekin was spectacular for Maccabi, tying his career-high in scoring and ending the game with 28 points (4/7 2PT, 4/6 3PT, 8/8 FT), 3 assists, 3 steals, and 32 PIR.

"It feels great. I really didn’t want to lose the first game - with all the fans being here and the great start we had, probably because of the fans," Wilbekin said after the game. "I’m just happy we were able to pull through and get the win."

Deshaun Thomas led the way for Bayern with 15 points (6/8 2PT, 0/1 3PT, 3/4 FT), 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 18 PIR.

"I have to say this was an amazing game," Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri admitted post-game. "After two tough years, feeling a crowd like this is really a big thing. I had goosebumps. I believe we could have won, but Maccabi won. I don’t feel beaten. My players do not feel beaten."

The game was tied at 16 in the first period, but Maccabi went on a 7-0 run to pull away. Scottie Wilbekin ended the first with a last-second shot to put his team up by seven (25-18).

Maccabi continued lighting it up from deep and started the period on a 10-0 run to run away from Andrea Trinchieri's squad (35-18). However, Bayern answered with a 12-3 run of their own to close the first half and cut their deficit to eight (40-32).

Bayern continued playing well at the start of the third, with Deshaun Thomas giving Bayern a lead and Othello Hunter increasing it to six (42-48).

Bayern played without six of their players tonight: Nihad Djedovic, Vladimir Lucic, Andreas Obst, Leon Radosevic, Gavin Schilling, and Paul Zipser.

Maccabi were without Ante Zizic and Mathias Lessort, who did not join the team yet.

Maccabi: Wilbekin 28, Dibartolomeo 8, Nunnally 7, Reynolds 6 (6 REB), Williams 6 (5 REB), Evans 5 (4 REB), Sorkin 3, Coloiaro 2, Taylor 2.

Bayern: Thomas 15 (7 REB), Walden 13, Hunter 11 (6 REB), Rubit 10, Weiler-Babb 6 (5 REB), Hilliard 5 (6 AST), Sisko 5, Jaramaz 2.


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3-pointers this season

Points made: 7,0
Accuracy: 31,8%
Place in standings: 6
Record max: 7
Record min: 7
Most made 3FGs: Scottie Wilbekin