Maccabi Regains the Crown!
Safsal ,05/21/2009
A year after losing the championship, Maccabi Tel Aviv started a new count. The Yellows defeated Maccabi Haifa Heat in the Final Four final 85:72 and celebrated their first title since October 2007.

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A year ago, Malik Dixon's game-winner gave Hapoel Holon their first ever championship and put an end to Maccabi Tel Aviv's 15-year streak. Actually, it was only the second time since the 1970 that the Yellows have lost the league crown.

When Maccabi won the "Winner Cup" in October 2007, nobody could've guessed that their next celebration will be more than 1.5 years later. Last season they've lost 3 straight final games - Euroleague, Israeli league and State Cup - and earlier this season they were eliminated from the cup in the 1/8 finals.

Last night, the order was restored. Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Haifa Heat 85:72 and took the monkey - which became a real heavy one lately - off their back.

Haifa, which made it to two finals in their first year after promoting from D-2, started very well and led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, led by their dynamic duo, Doron Perkins and Davon Jefferson.

Down 20:32, Coach Pini Gershon used his secret, well-known weapon, Derrick Sharp. The 37-year-old veteran sparked a 22-5 run with two three-pointers, the latter changing the lead for good in the second quarter.

Haifa suffered from foul problems right from the start, and couldn't find an answer to D'or Fischer's offensive rebounding and Carlos Arroyo's calmness in the second half after a dismal start.

Tal Burstein nailed two three's in the final quarter which opened a double-digit margin, from which the newly-promoted couldn't return.

Carlos Arroyo led the winners with 22 points and 6 assists, D'or Fischer chipped in with a 19-point, 11 rebound double-double. Doron Perkins tallied a game-high 25 points, including a league-record 18 of 24 foul shots! Jefferson was the only other Haifa player in double-figures with 16 points, to go along with 12 boards and 4 blocked shots.

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