Sfairopoulos on Deni Avdija: “He needs to be humble, work hard and has a big future in front of him”

Maccabi Tel Aviv Head Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos looked ahead to this evening’s Euroleague clash against Darussafaka. The Istanbul based team is in last place but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous and should be taken lightly:

“We have a very important and difficult game. They are a team that has nothing to lose and is playing without pressure.”

The coach also spoke about last week’s clash at Milano in which he has stated that the Italian club was the favorites, “They have a bigger budget than us, with players who have more Euroleague experience and are a more experienced team than us. We had a big disadvantage with our record. We only beat Olympiacos by one point, if we lose we get criticized, we have to look outside of the box. We are a fighting team with a fighting mentality and we have had some good games and good results. But we aren’t yet one of the best teams, however, we are the favorites tomorrow.”

The Maccabi maestro also discussed building an Israeli base especially after loaning out Kendrick Ray and phenom Deni Avdija returning to the fold, “We want to build an Israeli base and I want to give them a chance to play and in general he will have more minutes. I let him play for the first time against Fener and he scored his first basket. He needs to work hard and he’s a hard worker. If he continues to work like this he will get his chances.”

The coach continued, “We missed him 20-25 days out of the team and he practiced for the first time with the team. Now he has to adjust to us. He was with different teams and now it’s the time to bring him back to reality because Maccabi is reality for him. His best improvement is through his club but because he’s really good it’s very positive that he is with the National team and shows he has potential. He needs to be humble, work hard and has a big future in front of him. Sometimes we need to protect him for the things around him and do the best for his future.”

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