Maccabi Tel Aviv welcomes Alba Berlin to Yad Eliyahu for a Gameday 7 Euroleague clash on Thursday night at 21:00 Israel time. Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s Yellow & Blue are 4-2 and are on a four game winning streak while the German squad sits at 1-5 with their lone victory coming on Gameday 1 against Zenit St. Petersburg.
The host’s hold a 9-1 all-time record against Aito Garcia Reneses’s squad while this edition counts on Peyton Siva with close to 12 point a game to lead the way. The Alba coach said this about his team, “We are losing games in the EuroLeague, but we are competing and that, for me, is the most important thing. Our idea is to go with a good mentality into each game and to improve in the games, because with so many games and travels we don’t have time to practice. Considering, that we are playing in the best league in Europe I am not worried, whether we win or lose. Important is to play the games with focus and intensity and try to become better every time.”
Coach Sfairpoulos spoke ahead of the home tilt, “Thursday we compete against an excellent team. They have great chemistry and play well as a team. Although they have only one win, their position in the standings doesn’t show their real ability because they are a good team, and they’ll be motivated to win. This is an important game, and we need to be concentrated and play as a unit. ALBA has great shooters; we need to play individual and team defense, and on the other side of the ball, take advantage of their flaws.”
Guard Scottie Wilbekin also looked ahead to the contest, “Coach talked about being more detailed and what we need to do defensively to stop them. ALBA is a dangerous team with a lot of potential scorers who can score 15 points on any given night, so we have to be alert to all five guys on the court. This game isn’t more important because we are favorites; it’s because each game becomes more important. Sticking to our game plan each possession.”
Quincy Acy chimed in as well ahead of the game, “We approach every game with the goal to win. It will be a hard game and well coached. We will have a fight. We’re winning as a team and I’ll get my footing eventually as it takes time, it’s an adjustment and a totally different game. We have to take good shots if we don’t that leads to a lot of transition chances and we have to take care of the ball.”
A number of Israeli teams were in continental action on Wednesday night with the Blue & White sides recording 3 wins and 1 loss overall.
Hapoel Jerusalem dunked Anwil Wloclawek 112-94 in Champions League play after the Reds bust open the game in the second half running the Polish squad out of the building. Anwil led by as many as a dozen points midway through the second quarter but Oded Katash’s crew stormed back to pull within one point at halftime and then outscored the visitors 60-41 over the final twenty minutes thanks to unstoppable play by Suleiman Briamoh (33 points), James Feldeine (23 points) and J’Covan Brown (21 points). Chris Dowe and Chase Simon each scored 17 points while Tony Wroten added 15 points in the loss.
Also in Champions League action, Hapoel Holon dropped Strasbourg 86-81 as Malachi Richardson arguably had his best game for the club with 17 points and 6 rebounds, while Latvious Williams recorded a double double in the win with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Veteran Israeli forward Guy Pnini added 14 points in the win.
Nes Ziona defeated Zwolle 92-90 thanks to five players scoring in double digits to move to 3-0 in Europe Cup play. Corey Fisher led the way with 20 points, Jeremy Hollowell clocked in with 16 points and Jeff Withey clocked in with yet another double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion fell to Promitheas Patras 88-77 in Greece as Alex Hamilton once again led the way with 20 points. Youngster Noam Dovrat scored 12 points in 15 minutes as well for Guy Goodes’s squad.