Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv is used to play Israeli League games on Sunday nights. Still, the current epidemic had unusual plans, and therefore Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad will host Asvel Villeurbanne on Sunday night (21:05, Live on Sport5 - Channel 55) at Menora Mivtachim Arena in front of a crowd of 3000 Yellow & Blue fans. Maccabi will have to manage without Omri Casspi, who injured his thigh and will be sidelined for the next couple of weeks, joining Yovel Zoosman and Othello Hunter, who continue to recover from their injuries.
Earlier this season, the French side recorded their first win over Maccabi this century with an 84:81 home victory. In the other three matchups, the Yellow & Blue won all three, as the last time Asvel came to Tel Aviv, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad dominated with a 93:62 triumph.
T.J. Parker's squad comes in on a negative momentum dropping six straight contests, including a 34 point defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. Ex Maccabi Norris Cole, who helped Maccabi lift the Israeli league title in 2018, has been the French top offensive force scoring 13.7 points per night.
"We are up against a very athletic team, and although they've lost some games lately, most of them were decided at the end", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos about Sunday's opponent. "We want to react after the loss to Red Star by playing better with a higher level of concentration, reading the game on both ends of the court, and adjusting to it. It's good we will have 3000 of our fans supporting us, and I expect them to help us overcome one more opponent".
"Villeurbanne has been a dangerous team all year long. They aren't in the playoffs contention, but on a good night, they can beat anybody when they are playing well, so we have to be ready", Analyzed Tyler Dorsey. "We have three games left, and we need to finish the season as strong as possible. They are one of the most athletic teams in the competition, so we have to match that with physicality and play our game, not letting their athleticism get us".
Maccabi's captain John DiBartolomeo indicated the importance of the next couple of games: "We've struggled with inconsistency throughout the season, and that is something we have to fix especially going forward in these last three EuroLeague games and in the final stretch of the Israeli League. We will come out focused, prepared, and hopefully play a better game than we did the other day getting some revenge on Asvel after what they did to us in France".