Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv will try to continue their excellent momentum, as they head out to Italy to face Olimpia Milano on Tuesday night (21:45, live on channel Sport5), as part of the 9th EuroLeague fixture. The Yellow & Blue come into this rough road stretch leading the EuroLeague's standings, as they hold an impressive 12 game winning streak in all competitions.
The contest against Milano will be a special one for all basketball lovers, as Maccabi will match up against two basketball legends. Ettore Messina, one of the best European coaches of all times and four-time EuroLeague champion, came back to the top European stage after five seasons as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
The second legend is the Argentinan Luis Scola, which at the age of 39, head back to the EuroLeague scene after being chosen three times to the All-EuroLeague selection with Tau Ceramica in the previous decade. This past summer, he starred for Argentina winning the silver medal at the World Cup in China, where he was named to the all-tournament team.
"I don't want to think if we are in the best shape in Europe right now", Said Giannis Sfairopoulos to reporters before the flight. "I only want to think about the way to play the next game, and the most important thing is to continue to stay focused and keep following the gameplan. Milano is an excellent team that is undefeated at their home court, we will need to remain focused on being consistent for all 40 minutes of the game. If you lose your concentration against them for a minute or two, they will punish".
"We need our players who will play individually against Rodriguez and Mack to be very concentrated, to follow the plan we instruct them", Related coach on how to stop the Italian guards. "We also need to play good team defense around them because sometimes you need to bring extra help, so the whole team needs to be ready to follow the defensive tactics. We know they count a lot on their three-point shooting, and we need to be focused on stopping that".
"Milan is a good team, and we have to approach it like any other game, come out focused, stick to our gameplan, and be ready to fight", Said Quincy Acy about the keys for the matchup against the reds. "The key for us defensively is bounding on the coach's scheme, and the players have each others back. We are competing, we need to have that same mindset going into every game, that's how we are going to win. As long as we are doing that, we can compete at a high level.
The captain John DiBartolomeo spoke towards the interesting week ahead: "Obviously this is another challenge for us, we need to continue to play good basketball like we've had been in late, but up to this point in the EuroLeague, Milano has been one of the top teams, so we look forward to taking the next step for us. We go into every game prepared to win, it is going to be a challenging week as Milano and Barcelona are two of the top teams right now, but now we are focused on going to Milan and playing our best basketball".