Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv continues their tight schedule as they'll face Maccabi Ashdod as part of the first round of the Israeli State Cup (Monday, 20:10, live on Sport5 - channel 55). After the road game in Istanbul against Anadolu Efes and the home win over Eilat in the Israeli League opener, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad will travel to Hakirya Arena in the southern district of Israel, starting their Domestic Cup journey.
Ashdod hasn't begun their season in the second division, and so far, they've played only several exhibition contests. However, Offer Rahimi built a roster with one sole intention - returning by next season to the top domestic league. The dolphins brought in Durand Scott, who may be the top foreigner in the second division, and Abdoulaye Gueye. On the local end, the roster is surrounded by experienced second division players who some have a past in the top league: Raviv Pitchon, Dolev Drapic, Sagiv David, Noam Laish, Amit Alon, Dvir Ringvald, and Yogev Levi.
Maccabi Tel Aviv holds the record for most cup titles with 44, although not winning one in the past three years as Israeli League champions. The last Cup was in the 2016/17 season, after beating Hapoel Jerusalem in the finals 82:68.
The round of 16 draw will take place this coming Tuesday during the halftime between Hapoel Holon and Cholet basketball as a part of the Fiba's Basketball Champions League. If Maccabi passes by Ashdod on Tuesday, their round of 16 game will take place on Sunday, December 13th.