Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Olympiacos on Friday night as they look to extend their winning streak to four games after downing Fenerbahce on Wednesday 67-55 at Yad Eliyahu. For Yellow & Blue coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos the trip to Piraeus will be a homecoming of sorts as he will be returns to his former haunting ground. Sfairopoulos ran the show between 2014-2018 in the port city winning two Greek League titles while also taking his team to the Euroleague Final Four twice during that time.
Maccabi Tel Aviv are now 3-2 in continental play while Olympiacos sit at 2-3 under coach Kestutis Kemzura who took over from David Blatt earlier in the season.
The coach shared his feelings about going back home for this important clash, “I spent 7 years in Olympiacos and I had some great moments there. But now I am here with Maccabi Tel Aviv. We won the league last year and now we are focusing to win more titles. We have to stay humble and right now and our psychology is good. Olympiacos won in Moscow and we have another difficult game coming up on Friday.”
Nate Wolters knows how difficult it is to play in Greece, “It’s a tough place to play in Athens and we need to be ready. But these double Euroleague weeks are fun.”
Yovel Zoosman also talked about playing Olympiacos, “We will have an easy practice session and our main focus will be on video. We will go there with the goal to win and we will stay humble in the process.”
At Yad Eliyahu it’s clear that Maccabi is taking advantage of the crowd who have been very instrumental in the three victories, “We have a big advantage when we play at home with our fans. We were close in both road games but it wasn’t enough. We have to be better during the last few minutes of the game and perform like we did at home.”
Sfairopoulos also spoke about the home support as being key, “Big credit to the fans and I want to give a hug to each one who helped make the arena into the old Yad Eliyahu. The fans are like the 6th player and helped us to the win. We won a good game early in the season and there is a long way to go.”