Coming into the contest sweeping their way into the finals, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad has a tough assignment facing Avishai Gordon's unit, whose given Maccabi problems throughout the season. The Reds came on top in the first two matchups during the regular season, while in the top division, Maccabi beat Gilboa/Galil 67:65 thanks to a 23 point performance by Scottie Wilbekin. Throughout history, the Yellow & Blue hold a clear advantage in playoff play defeating the northern squad in 19 of the 24 contests.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil enters the Finals after completing a 2:0 sweep over Hapoel Holon in the Semifinals. Their most significant contribution comes from their big-man Kerry Blackshear, who's averaging 18.8 points, 7.3 rebounds for a total of 24.3 PIR. Yiftach Ziv is Gordon's main Israeli leading the northern squad, scoring 12.3 points while dishing 4.5 assists per game.
"We started preparing for the Finals series these past couple of days taking advantage to work on small details on both sides of the court. Gilboa/Galil is a very good team, showing that in the other semifinal series", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos in the final practice. "We need to stay focused on executing our game plan and fight for every possession".
"It was a long season, but now we don't think about it. We are determined to accomplish our goal, and that is to play as best as we can in Game 1, not thinking about the rest of the series. We spoke about how we should approach the game mentally and what we have to do".
The Greek coach spoke about the 6 days rest between games: "From my experience, sometimes, when you play back-to-back games all season and wait so long for your next series, it makes you sleepy, and you lose your rhythm. We worked really well to stay in sync, and I believe we will be ready for Game 1".
Scottie Wilbekin added towards the final games of the season: "It's been a long year, probably the longest of my career, and we just want to finish it with the title. Some say it's good to have rest, and some say to have a rhythm. We will see it in Game 1. We have to do a good job sticking to our game plan on defense, knowing we have to get back on transition and limit Gilboa/Galil's scorers. They are definitely a good team, they have a lot of good players, so it's going to be a tough matchup for us".
"So far in the playoffs, we've done a good job being pretty balanced, getting good shots as a team, and although my shots haven't been falling lately, I'll keep taking them", Told the guard about the team's success, despite losing key players in the late part of the season. "We've had some off nights offensively, but we've been making them up defensively, so hopefully, it will all come together this series".