The 2020/21 EuroLeague season comes to an end on Friday night as Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv head out on the road to face Zenit St Petersburg (20:00, Live on Sport5 - Channel 55). The Israeli champions look to finish the European regular season on a good note with a second straight victory over a Russian squad after dominating Khimki 92:62 on Tuesday night in Menora Mivtachim Arena.
Xabi Pascual's group, who sits in 8th place, holds their own fortune for the last playoff spot as a win will secure a EuroLeague playoff run, while a loss will put their fate in Real Madrid and Baskonia's hands. Omri Casspi will continue his recovery as Maccabi will get T.J Cline back to the roster after missing out on the Khimki game after not being registered to the squad on the original date.
In Round 17, Zenit beat Maccabi 78:72 at Menora Mivtachim Arena as Scottie Wilbekin's 18 points couldn't quite get the victory. In the only meeting between the squads in Russia, Giannis Sfairopoulos's squad defeated the light blue's 82:71 behind a 17 point performance by Tyler Dorsey.
"We are facing a team that is still in the thick of qualifying to the playoffs, so they will be very motivated", Said head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos, about the second-ranked defense in the competition. "It will be our last EuroLeague game of the season, and for that, we want to play the best we can. We know we are up against a quality opponent that all season long played really well, and we expect a good game".
"It's a chance for us to come out on a positive note as they are fighting for a playoff spot, so they will come hungry and ready to play", Added Elijah Bryant, who had 10 points and 5 rebounds in the last matchup in Tel Aviv. "We know our chances, we are excited to go out there for one last time and finish strong".
Dragan Bender spoke towards the last European trip of the season: "It's definitely a tough road game at their home court, they are a stacked team with a lot of good players. It's the last game of the EuroLeague season, so we are going out there to fight and prove we are fighting until the end".