Maccabi Tel Aviv tips off against Bayern Munich in Gameday 12 of Euroleague action as the Yellow & Blue will look to continue on their winnings ways after defeating ASVEL last week. Ioannis Sfairpoulos’s squad comes in with a 7-4 record good for 4th place while the German team enters the game 4-7 and in 16th place on the standings. With an all-time record of 4-0, Maccabi will look to pick up a 5th win with the biggest victory coming last season 95-71 in Tel Aviv.
On the injury front it’s still unknown as to which 12 players will be registered for the game and Coach Sfaiorpoulos said at yesterday’s press conference that it may be a last minute decision as the team will not dress anyone who is feeling pain. Omri Casspi and Tarik Black who have both been injured returned to Israeli league action earlier in the week against Nahariya and both played roughly 15 minutes a piece in the blowout victory. However, it’s still unclear if they are both 100% fit for tonight’s clash against Bayern.
Due to the presence of former NBA big man Greg Monroe, Sfairopoulos would want to have both Black and Othello Hunter to counter his presence in the paint. But should Black still not be 100% the coach has stated he will not risk him. Angelo Caloairo will be a lock on the roster while Sandy Cohen III or perhaps Elijah Bryant who is also coming back from a minor nick may not be registered for the contest.
Hunter spoke about the challenge that Monroe will present to the squad, “At the end of the day we are men, we pride ourselves on defense. If we got a guy that we know he is good in the post, we are going to try to beat him to the spot, making it hard for him, and go from there.”
The Euroleague champ also talked about the fact that Bayern is still looking for their first win on the road, “Every team in Euroleague can compete, it doesn’t matter if they are at the top or bottom of the league. So far they haven’t won on the road, but they are a good team. We still need to be ready to prepare for a great game, and I think, for us, it all starts defensively.”
“For this reason, we need to be concentrated, focused, and ready to play a tough game,” explained Coach Sfairopoulos. “Bayern is a very organized team, they know what they want to do on the court, so that means we need to be ready to read what they do and stop them defensively.”
Tyler Dorsey said that any continental clash is difficult both because of Munich’s current state on the road and playing with a post up player in Monroe, “It’s never an easy game, you always have to take it one game at a time. They are going to come in here ready trying to get their first road win, so we have to protect home court and continue to do what we have been doing lately at home. We dealt with playing in the post, but it’s definitely a different style that a team plays more there than the pick and roll. We are going to work on that today and be prepared for that.”