Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv will host FC Barcelona on Tuesday evening as part of the 19th EuroLeague fixture (21:00, live on Sport5 - channel 55), the first of two home games this week. The Yellow & Blue came back to Israel on Friday following the win in Berlin, and on Saturday, stayed unbeaten in the domestic league (14:0) after beating Hapoel Holon on the road.
On the other hand, Barcelona comes into Tel Aviv after investing the most amount of money this summer on signings. The Catalan club brought it Malcolm Delaney, Cory Higgins, Alex Abrines, Brandon Davies, and Nikola Mirotic, who shined in the past meeting between the clubs scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to an impressive 96:73 victory over Maccabi.
"Barcelona is a very good team, with a lot of talented players they lost the past two games, so they will be extra motivated to win", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos in his opening statement. "We need to stick to our plan, play good defense, read the way they play, and offensively play our smart style of basketball. After three straight away games, it's good to be back home in front of our fans, and with their significant support, we will fight hard for a positive result".
"I had to get ready to jump in the fire with this team, I didn't have a lot of time to waste, so I had to be ready for my name to be called", Told Jalen Reynolds, to reporters before the final practice. "Tomorrow is going to be a battle, they have good players, but we do too, and we work hard every day. It's going to be a physical game, so we need to be locked in, I'm ready for the challenge".
"I agree he is the best coach, I love playing for him", Said Scottie Wilbekin about the EuroLeague GM survey who chose Giannis Sfairopoulos as the best coach so far this season. "I think what made them say we are one of the toughest teams to play against is because of how tough we play, we always play hard even if we were down a few games we fought back and came back to win. Our team is always fighting, we don't give up, and it is definitely hard to play here having the best home-court advantage in the EuroLeague".
"Barcelona is one game ahead of us in the standings, so it would be huge for us to get this win", Added the guard. "Right now, It's really close at the top, so every game is important and especially against a team like Barca, which is one of the best teams in the league, we want to do our best to win. We will have to be aggressive, try to keep them out of being in their comfort zone, and not let them run their sets, make them work for it".