Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv departed to Athens on Wednesday afternoon as they'll face Panathinaikos in the Oaka Altion on Thursday night (21:00, Live on Sport5 - Channel 55). Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad seeks their second consecutive EuroLeague victory as they'll need to beat a known opponent - Oded Kattash, who was appointed two months back as the Greeks head coach.
The Israeli champions come into the contest with positive momentum after the dramatic derby win and Thursday's victory over Valencia. The Yellow & Blue hold an 11:15 record, with 9 games remaining to the end of the European regular season.
The history between Maccabi and Oded Kattash holds great and not as good memories. The most memorable of them all was back in the 2000 EuroLeague Finals as he led the Greens as a player scoring 17 points beating the Yellow & Blue in the championship game.
"For us, it's really important to follow our gameplan because Panathinaikos, under coach Kattash, plays his style of basketball, moving the ball more while trying to find their best shot patiently", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos before departing to Greece. "They have good movement on offense, and everybody is involved, so we'll need to be concentrated on the defensive side of the ball".
"Lately, Panathinaikos has been playing really good, they have a big lineup in all five positions, so everyone has to be prepared for stopping them on the offensive rebounds and their fastbreaks", Added the Croatian big man Ante Zizic towards the matchup against the Greens bigs. "If we play to our style of game, we have a good chance, but if we allow them to play to their advantages, we'll have a long night".
Elijah Bryant spoke about the awareness Maccabi has towards the matchup against Kattash's squad: "They are a good team, so we will come focused and do what we need to do to get the win. We understand they play similar to how Kattash coached in Jerusalem, and we've played them a few times, so most of the guys are familiar with his style of play".