Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Olympiacos on Tuesday (21:05 Israel time) in Belgrade while Hapoel Tel Aviv will be playing in Riga (19:00) as they visit Prometey.
The yellow-and-blue will look to continue their fine form this challenging season and record another win and improve upon their 4-2 record against last year’s Euroleague runner-up while the Reds will try to get back onto the winning track following their first loss of the season which dropped their record to 4-1.
Head Coach Oded Katash understands though that the Piraeus based club will provide plenty of issues for the yellow-and-blue despite having lost two of their most important players over the summer in Sasha Vezenkov and Kostas Sloukas. In addition, playing in front of an empty arena will provide its own challenges as well.
“We are coming off of two wins and we would like to continue that against a very strong opponent,” the bench boss began. “While their results are not as good as last season we all know Olympiacos and how dangerous they are. It’s challenging to play here in an empty arena and we will need to take those feelings that we usually have in Tel Aviv with us when we take to the court.”
Big man Josh Nebo agreed with his head coach, “Playing in an empty arena is tough so we have to come out with the right energy from the start. We also need to be able to execute the game plan the coaches prepare for us.”
As for the keys to the game, forward Bonzie Colson explained as to what he sees will be the important factors for Maccabi to take the win, “We need to rebound the ball on both sides of the floor, play hard, limit our turnovers, continue to move the ball offensively and just play the game that we love.”
Katash echoed what the forward had to say, “The key is controlling the rebounds which is critical for us to be able to run and score easy points. They have very good defensive minded guards and we will need to be smart and hold onto the ball.”
Over at Hapoel Tel Aviv, Prometey has had a very disappointing run so far under their Israeli head coach Ronen “Neno” Ginzburg which has led to some roster changes already early on in the season. However, Danny Franco understands that the displaced Ukrainian club is still going to be hard to handle especially without their most important Israeli player.
“We are about to take on a very dangerous opponent on the road,” the head coach said. “Despite not having Tomer Ginat available and the abnormal situation we are going through, the guys will do the maximum in order to win the game and give a bit of joy to our Red fans and community.”
Braian Angola also commented on the upcoming contest, “We feel an obligation to our fans after the Paris game last week. We have to get back to our toughness which has characterized our play and really put in a team performance in order to win this important road game.”