Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv traveled with over 100 of their fans to the away game against Zalgiris Kaunas, which will conclude the first half of the EuroLeague season. Other than the Maccabi fans who made the trip to Lituania, more Yellow & Blue supporters from around the country are expected to fill out the impressive Zalgirio Arena.
Maccabi departed with the expected roster, including Scottie Wilbekin and Othello Hunter, who missed the past Domestic league game against Be'er Sheva. For their first time, the two new Yellow & Blue additions, Aaron Jackson and Jalen Reynolds, joined their teammates and flew with them after practicing with the team this past week.
"First of all, I'm happy that Jackson and Reynolds are here with us, they practiced a couple of times with the team, and they look in good condition", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos about the two new additions. "However, they are still learning the system, and there is no magic wand that will make them memorize everything in two days. They are ready to play, but to be a good unit, we need a few days, maybe weeks".
"When you play away games in the EuroLeague, it isn't easy to win. We need to be more concentrated, follow the plan, and fight more for every ball", Added Sfairopoulos. "Zalgiris are on their way up, they won the last game, and so far from twelve loses this season, ten of them were under nine points, so we know it won't be easy".
"The addition of Jackson helps us a lot, Scottie and I don't have to bring the ball down the court every time, and it helps us with our energy", Said Tyler Dorsey about his new teammate. "Throughout the game, he can take those ball-handling duties as we can play off and on the ball. It is going to be an adjustment, but we will try to help him do that and help both of them through it. They look pretty good, in shape, tomorrow will be their first game, and hopefully, we will get there and fight to get a good win".
"We need to learn how to win more on the road. We won 6 of our last 7, and adding people on the roster will help us fatigue wise", Explained the guard, who spoke about their opponent: "Zalgiris is a hard-fighting team, you watch them on film, and you see they will fight until the end, they won't give up. Especially at home they probably play way better so with their crowd and the way they fight, they are a dangerous team".
"It was fun, unfortunately, my wife wasn't here, but it's still a great time to be in Israel", Said Elijah Bryant about celebrating his second new year's eve in Israel. "It's a special place, and this year we have something special here in Maccabi, so it is exciting".
"Jackson and Reynolds are two great players that will help us on both ends of the floor, so we are excited to have two new guys that will join the family", Told Bryant about his new teammates. "We take it one game at a time, so regardless of who we are playing if you are good or bad, they are first or last, it doesn't matter we have to be focused because every team in the EuroLeague is really good".