The Israeli champions, who've retained the vast majority of their players from last season, played two exhibition games against Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Haifa as they wait to make their official season debut. John DiBartolomeo, Yovel Zoosman, and Omri Casspi haven't recovered from their injuries and won't be available for head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos.
Joining this summer to the Maccabi family are point guard Chris Jones (number 3), forward Oz Blayzer (14), guard-forward Eidan Albar (24), center Ante Zizic (23), guard Max Heidegger (21), and the latest addition, forward Dragan Bender (17).
After clinching a playoff berth last season for the first time in 5 years that was cut short due to the pandemic, The Yellow & Blue will look to repeat that performance displaying their brand new jersey. Featuring the latest sponsor Playtika on the front and presenting and the digital insurance company WeSure on the back. The latest warm-up clothing will exhibit the logo of the financial firm Rapyd - as all three organizations are from Israel who've become premium brands in their field.
”Unfortunately, we aren't in the same situation as we were before March, and there won't be any fans in our arena. Alba is a great team, they kept most of their roster, and we need to stay concentrated on our game plan”, Acknowledged Sfairopoulos.
”Our goal is to focus one game at a time, gain as many wins as possible, and by the end of the season, we will see what we've achieved”, Added the Greek coach towards the long year. ”This is a marathon, this is a brand new season and we have the experience of playing in the pandemic from the Israeli league, so that will help us mentally”.
“I’m really excited, it’s been a long time", Othello Hunter told maccabi.co.il. "Unfortunately, last season ended the way it did, and we still have a lot to do. We got new guys, and everybody's nerves are kicking in a little bit, but I think the guys are just ready to play basketball. We mesh pretty well on and off the court”.
After finishing 14th this past EuroLeague season with a 9:19 record, Alba Berlin, under the most experienced coach in the competition, the 73-year-old Spanish play-caller Aito Renesans will look to take another step forward this season.
The German champions landed two important backcourt pieces in veteran Jayson Granger and Maodo Lo. In the frontcourt, the German capital added ace shot-blocker Ben Lammers and Louis Olinde, coming in from Bamberg.
Alba's unquestioned star is Luke Sikma, a versatile forward with an inside and outside force who can shoot and pass like a guard and bump and rebound like a big man. The energetic Peyton Siva will handle the point guard duties as Marcus Eriksson and Niels Giffey manages the wings.