Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv starts their three-game European road stretch as they'll play against Saski Baskonia on Thursday night as part of the 13th EuroLeague fixture of the 2020/21 season (22:00, live on Sport5 - channel 55).
Thursday's contest will be the Yellow & Blue's fourth game this week as they'll look to extend the European winning streak after the home win over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. Yovel Zoosman will make his European season debut for Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad.
Baskonia comes into the matchup on a roll, winning their last four games, including two impressive road wins over Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes by an average margin of 17 points.
"We are flying to compete against a Bakonia team that is very tough, especially in their home court", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos in the pregame press conference before departing to Spain. "They play well on defense, and they're very fast in the open court, adding to that very good spot-up shooters. We need to be concentrated on playing good defense, disrupting their game, while offensively read their protection and attack their weak parts. Our most important task is to have high energy and great concentration".
Yovel Zoosman, who's set to return on Thursday, spoke about the Spanish squad: "Baskonia is a team that their whole is more significant than one player, containing a roster with excellent players. They are a good shooting team with good size and strength as we will need to be smart, set up our mental edge, and I believe we will be there".
"The body needs its time even if sometimes I want to be on the court more, but it might not be smart for the short and long-run", Added the Israeli guard about having to play under a minute restriction. " I need to be smart and be patient, the desire and hard work are there. The games haven't been great on paper so far, but I'm not affected by it because I know it will come with time. I'm trying to adapt to the team, it isn't easy to return after six months out, which is personally the most time out as a professional".
Chris Jones, who made his first EuroLeague start last week, told reports the keys for a Thursday night victory: "We need to go out and play our game continue to build on the last couple of games that we've picked it up defensively. We know they pride themselves on their defensive play, so we need to take care of the ball, keep them out of transition and execute on offense".