Euroleague club Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team of Latvian coach Ainars Bagatskis, won on Thursday night the Israeli State Cup for 44th time in its history – and for 8th season in row (!) – by beating national rivals Hapoel Jerusalem (82-68) in the final of the tournament.
Former NBAers Andrew Goudelock and Gal Mekel led the winners to the first title of the year, as they scored 15 points each, while veteran small forward Devin Smith was also an x-factor and added 13. On the other hand, 35-year-old center and six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire did good job (15 points), but it wasn’t enough as his team wasn’t in a good day offensively.
Maccabi’s performance in EuroLeague is not the expected (14 defeats in 22 games), but at least the Israeli powerhouse celebrated a national cup against a strong opponent and this achievement will be an important psychological boost.