Holon Wins the Championship!
Shlomi Peri ,05/29/2008
For the second time since 1969, Maccabi Tel Aviv loses the championship! Malik Dixon's game-winner, with 2 ticks to go, give Holon their first ever title, after a drammatic 73:72 final. Vujcic, whose basket with 6 seconds to go wasn't enough, was released.

Since 1969, Maccabi Tel Aviv has won 23 championships in a row. In 92/93, they lost to Galil Elyon in the semifinals, and on Thursday, The Yellows lost their first ever playoff finals, 72:73 to Hapoel Holon.

Mickey Dorsman, the owner/coach, in his first ever season in the first division, leads Holon to their first title, after finishing first in the regular season.

Maccabi had an early 7-point lead, but Holon responded with an 11-2 run, before Sharp finished the quarter with a three-pointer, 23:23. The fast pace slowed down, and both teams got much more aggressive. Tucker and Simmons couldn't get their rhythm (7 apiece at the half), and Maccabi led 38:37 at intermission.

Simmons left with an early fourth foul, Tucker kept missing down low, and Holon hasn't scored from the field for almost 6 minutes, as the margin extended to 8 points. Dixon started a 6-0 run with a trey, and after a flagrant foul to both teams, it's 56:52 after 30 minutes.

Vujcic and Halperin extended it back to 8 points, but Holon didn't give up. Halperin (4 fouls in the 4th) and Sharp fouled out, and Dixon's 3-point play capped up a 13:2 run, which gave Holon the lead for the first time since the second quarter, 70:67.

Bynum got within 1 with a pair of foul shots, but Bluthental made just one and tied it at 70 all. Tucker split his free throws as well after an offensive rebounds with 22 seconds to go, and Vujcic planned Maccabi's final possession.

He took Watson with his back to the basket, dribbled for 6 seconds and shift the lead back with a huge shot, 6.5 ticks to go. Holon took a timeout, and resume play from halfcourt.

Dixon inbounded the ball to Campbell, immediately got it back and ran to the hoop. He leaned in and launched it over Morris, 73:72! Bynum's prayer from halfcourt wasn't answerred, and Maccabi finished a season of 3 finals with no titles!

Tucker had 18 for the winners, Dixon added 10. Morris scored 20 in a losing cause, Vujcic added 12, and heard a day later that he's released from Maccabi.

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