Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv looks to continue its progress up the EuroLeague standings on Wednesday, facing ASVEL Villeurbanne on the road as part of the 14th fixture of the 2020/21 season (21:45, Live on Sport5 - Channel 55). The Israeli champions carry a 5:8 record, winning the last two European contests as the Frenchmen sit at 3:9 after suffering a corona outbreak, which hurt the team earlier this season.
Wednesday's game will be Maccabi's 5th straight road game they'll finish the trip on Friday at Barcelona. The Yellow & Blue hold a 3:0 head to head record against Villeurbanne, including two wins over the French side in 2004/5.
Ex Maccabi Norris Cole, who helped Maccabi lift the Israeli league title in 2018, has been the French top offensive force scoring 11.1 points and dishing 4 assists per night. T.J. Parker's roster also contains center Moustapha Fall, David Lighty, Antoine Diot, Charles Kahudi, Allerik Freeman, and Guerschon Yabusele.
"Villeurbanne is a very long and athletic squad who shoot really well from outside ranking second from spot-on shooting", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos before departing to France. "We'll need to contest their shooters, fight for every possession, and be ready to play a physical game. We'll need to be very concentrated and focused on following our game plan because they're a dangerous team and a very good one as I believe their record doesn't show their real quality".
Scottie Wilbekin, who's ranked fourth in points this season with 17 points per game, spoke about the impact of having a full roster: "We definitely didn't have the start we wanted, but I feel like now we're starting the season from the standpoint of having all of our weapons. There's excitement and confidence from the team, not that we didn't have it before, but now we know what we've had available for us, and we're just excited to move forward. This is the team we want to be, a team that anybody can have a big night and lead us on the scoring end because we have a lot of guys that can easily score 15 - 20 points in one night".
"During these double rounds, we need to take it one game at a time, stay focused on what we have in front of us and then deal with the next game after that", Added Elijah Bryant towards the long EuroLeague week. "The whole EuroLeague is established by high-level teams, so we can't underestimate any of our opponents. Like coach says, we respect all our opponents and treat them as the best team in the league even if they aren't playing like that right now".