Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv will host the top-seeded Anadolu Efes as part of the 27th EuroLeague fixture (Wednesday, 21:00, live on Sport5 - channel 55). The red hot Turkish squad, which already secured its spot in the top 8, is having a great year, losing only 3 games all season as they come into Tel Aviv winning 11 straight European matches.
In the first matchup between the clubs earlier this season, Efes defeated Maccabi 99:79 in Istanbul. Scottie Wilbekin left the game early after rolling his ankle as Jake Cohen led Maccabi with 15 points. On the other end, Vasilije Micic finished as the top scorer with 23 points, as Rodrigue Beaubois added 22 points.
"Tomorrow we have a big challenge in front of us, playing against Efes that comes into the game with 11 consecutive wins and 12 straight away victories", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos towards the matchup against the first placed Turkish squad. "They have quality, experience, but we play on our home court, we have the best defense in the EuroLeague, and we will try to bring it tomorrow to the court. We need to defend them as a unit, our players always need to be concentrated and be ready to defend. On the other side of the ball, we need to find the best way to attack, read the game and punish their disadvantages. As always, in our home court, we need our fans by our side for all 40 minutes of the game".
"We want to win", Emphasized Scottie Wilbekin before the matchup. "This game has less to do with them and more to do with us because we are in a close fight for home-court advantage with CSKA, so that's what we are focused on. This is a game between the best team in the EuroLeague and a Maccabi team that always fights, that never gives up, especially here in Tel Aviv, so I don't expect anything less than that tomorrow".
"We need to focus on ourselves, keep everything in our control, and play a good game defensively", Told Elijah Bryant to reporters about the keys for tomorrow. "They are a really good team, but we are playing at home, if we do all of those we have a good chance".
When asked about the last couple wins in comparison to the big blowouts, the team delivered at the start of the season: "It says W on the list, not a W with an asterisk, so getting the win is the most important. Getting the rust off and making the game a little bit easier for ourselves will definitely help down the stretch".