There’s no place like home: Maccabi prepares for Olympiacos road clash back in Tel Aviv

Jan 18, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv readies for a road clash at Olympiacos on Thursday (21:15) as they will look to get back onto the winning track in Euroleague action following a devastating defeat to Partizan in Belgrade last week. The yellow-and-blue enter the game with a 12-9 record good for 6th place and a guaranteed playoff spot while the Piraeus based club sit just behind Maccabi in 7th sporting a 11-10 record. After having not been with the team in Afula for their league victory, Bonzie Colson is back and will be ready to go in Greece.

While Olympiacos is coming off a rough double week where they lost both of their games in Spain against Barcelona and Baskonia, Georgios Bartzokas’s squad is still a very dangerous one with a backcourt of Nigel Williams-Goss, Thomas Walkup and Isaiah Canaan running the offense.

Roman Sorkin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“The goal is to stop their game plan,” Roman Sorkin said. “They are a team that has been playing the same way for several years. We will have to stop them and they have a deep bench and very talented players. We will have to really guard their scorers who are excellent.”

Lorenzo Brown looked at what the club will need to do from their side in order to come away with a win, “Locking in on what their main things are on offense and attacking them on that perspective and getting our guys involved, finding the high guys, putting pressure on them defensively and pushing the pace.”

Olympiacos’s home, The Peace and Friendship Arena is no doubt one of the toughest arenas to play in and head coach Oded Katash is well aware of that as he tries to get his team back in the win column.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We are heading to a difficult arena against a very good opponent and who we saw what they can do in from the first round. We have to keep our intensity for the full 40 minutes and implement our game plan.”

Sorkin agreed as to the challenges that the arena will pose for Maccabi, “It is very difficult to play there but we are used to it as we have to play in tough arenas throughout the Euroleague.”

Wade Baldwin and Bonzie Colson – Photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv

However, as Maccabi begins to move their base of operations back to Israel after a number of months in Belgrade there is no question that for the club and its players including Wade Baldwin and Lorenzo Brown there is still no place like home to prepare for a crucial continental clash that can help spur them on for the final third of the season.

“It’s amazing, feels great to be back and I know all of the guys are happy to be here and it’s fresh air, getting extra work in, being the team we know we are and we can be in the future.”

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