Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv will head on the road to face Hapoel Jerusalem on Sunday evening as part of the 21st Israeli league fixture (21:00, live on Sport5 - channel 55). The Yellow & Blue landed on Saturday afternoon from Belgrade as they'll play their 3rd game in 5 days.
"It's an important game, when we play against Jerusalem, we are always very focused because they are a really good team", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos towards the matchup. "We are coming in after back to back Euroleague games, but the most important thing for us is to keep our concentration and to play with energy. We know them, and they know us. Whoever will do the best things on the court will win the game".
The veteran guard Aaron Jackson was left out of the roster. Elijah Bryant, Scottie Wilbekin, Quincy Acy, Othello Hunter, Deni Avdija, Jake Cohen, Dori Sahar, Yonatan Atias, Harel Rinksy, Amar'e Stoudemire and Yovel Zoosman, who recently came back from a hand injury, will be available for Giannis Sfairopoulos.
Hapoel Jerusalem comes into the matchup against the Israeli champions in second place, holding a 16:4 record. The Reds score the second amount of points per game (89.6) in the domestic league, while being the third-ranked defense allowing 79.4 points a night. Nine thousand fans will be allowed in the Pais Arena as Jerusalem holds a 8:1 record in 9 contests in the new gym.
In the last league match between the clubs, Maccabi beat Jerusalem 89:73 after scoring 34 points in an incredible third quarter. Scottie Wilbekin led all Maccabi scorers with 26 points. (6/7 from 3P), Dorsey added 15, while Omri Casspi finished with 13 points (6/8 from the field). From the other end, J'Covan Brown knocked in 27 points.
In 123 domestic league games between the Yellow & Blue and the Reds, Tel Aviv won 99 of them. In 60 contests in Jerusalem, the record stands at 43:17 in favor of Maccabi. In the first-ever matchup that took place in the Israeli capital on May 1955, Maccabi defeated Jerusalem 86:46 behind a 21 and 20 point performances by Ralph Klein and Abraham Shneior.