Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv put over 10 thousand fans at the Menora Mivtachim Arena on a roller coaster ride, gaining a 17-point lead but quickly squandering it, but eventually winning the game against FC Bayern Munich.

Player of the Game
Scottie  Wilbekin
Scottie Wilbekin
Points 28
Accuracy 8-13
Rebounds 0
Assists 3

Their head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos was relieved to bring the home fans the first victory.

“I want to congratulate our players for the win. It’s not always easy to win the opening game because the home team is always under pressure to start the season well. As you saw, we had a lot of ups and downs during the game. We started the game with a lot of enthusiasm,” Sfairopoulos said after the win.

“Bayern have the quality, no matter which players they are missing. And they showed that in the last 5 minutes of the second quarter. But mainly in the third quarter, we were very bad on offense. We had moments where we didn’t play well together, and we gave up easy points in transition. That’s why Bayern scored 26 points (in the third quarter),” he added.

Sfairopoulos talked about his team ramping up their defensive intensity in the final quarter and Scottie Wilbekin’s heroics.

“They only scored 10 points (in the fourth period). It’s not very easy to go from 26 points in the third quarter and allow only 10 in the fourth. That was the reason that we had the chance to come back - with the support of the whole team, but mainly with the baskets from Scottie. He showed once again that he is the leader of this team.”

“For sure, we have players who can score on a good day, and I expect we will play much better and more consistently. It’s just the beginning. We need to improve. We are a new team with a lot of new players who are playing for the first time in the EuroLeague. I think they did a good job for the first game,” Sfairopoulos continued.

2-pointers this season

Points made: 18,0
Accuracy: 47,4%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 18
Record min: 18
Most made 2FGs: Scottie Wilbekin

Lastly, the Greek coach gave his regards to the fans that sold out Maccabi’s home gym and created a jaw-dropping atmosphere.

“I’m very happy with how the fans came and supported us. A full gym after so long in the EuroLeague - it was a great feeling. And you saw in the last moments of the game with their voices how they helped the team to give more effort to get the win.”

Meanwhile, Bayern’s head coach Andrea Trinchieri admitted he enjoyed playing in a full arena again, despite his team’s loss.

“I have to say this was an amazing game. After two tough years, feeling a crowd like this is really a big thing. I had goosebumps.”

Trinchieri did feel like his team played better and deserved to win, if not for Wilbekin’s outstanding play.

“Maccabi had a great push in the first half. We go home without the win. We shot the ball better, we grabbed more rebounds, we dished more assists, we had 18 points higher PIR, and we lost the game. One big performance by Scottie Wilbekin.”

“There are lots of things we could do better, but we are learning to play in these games because our preparation was very difficult. We were missing six or seven players. But we played with a great personality. That is the only way you can play in this arena, against Maccabi, against their fans. I believe we could have won, but Maccabi won.”

The Italian coach said he feels good about his team’s performance and knows that Bayern can only improve from here.

“I don’t feel beaten. My players do not feel beaten. Congratulations to Maccabi, to Ioannis (Sfairopoulos), to the crowd because they were also a factor. And, of course, to Scottie. We will try to do better. I go home with a bag full of confidence in my players. We played a man’s game.”

“We adapted the game plan during the game because something didn’t work. And we really played to win. When you come here in front of 12,000 people with many big players out, and you play to win, this loss has a different taste,” Trinchieri concluded.

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Tel Avivo Maccabi
Miuncheno Bayern
Field goals

Best players

Scottie  Wilbekin
28 PTS
8/13 FG
8/8 FT
Deshaun  Thomas
15 PTS
6/10 FG
3/4 FT
Jalen  Reynolds
Deshaun  Thomas
Scottie  Wilbekin
3 As
1 TO
29 MIN
Darrun  Hilliard
6 As
4 TO
22 MIN
Scottie  Wilbekin
32 EFF
57% 2P%
67% 3P%
Corey  Walden
18 EFF
40% 2P%
67% 3P%