Bnei Herzliya’s Jeff Adrien.
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Maccabi Tel Aviv will assemble two separate rosters next season, one for the BSL and one for the Euroleague, the club announced on Sunday.
According to Maccabi, each roster will have its own coaching staff with the main goal being “to be able to compete with all the challenges under the current existing restrictions in the domestic league.”
The yellow-and-blue claimed that “after a decade of restrictions applied in the Israeli league with the sole purpose of slowing down Maccabi,” the club decided to analyze the current system to determine the best course of action.
Maccabi’s conclusion is that it “is almost impossible to maintain and sustain a competitive team in Europe under the current domestic restrictions” and therefore “the club has decided that Maccabi can no longer fight like a boxer whose hands are tied,” and as a result the club’s ownership has decided to build two different rosters.
“This is for the sole purpose of standing by the agreement with the league administration, and to allow both the development of local talent to a Euroleague level and to also achieve the highest aspiration which the club wishes to accomplish,” the statement concluded.
Maccabi is particularly unhappy that in the BSL every team must have two local players on court at every given moment and that teams can only register five foreign players to each game.
The Euroleague doesn’t enforce any limits based on the nationality of players, meaning teams can, for example, play with a roster assembled entirely of American players.
Maccabi’s ownership said on Sunday that its decision is final and nonnegotiable, but many BSL decision-makers believe the yellow-and-blue will backtrack on its announcement should the league’s directorate accept its demands.
Maccabi, which has lost 10 of its past 13 contests over all competitions, hosts Maccabi Haifa in BSL action in its next game on Tuesday.
In BSL action on Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem saw its three-game winning streak snapped with an 86-78 overtime home defeat to Bnei Herzliya.
Richard Howell had 19 points and seven rebounds for Hapoel, which fell to 14-9 after being outplayed in overtime.
“We didn’t play well for most of the game,” admitted coach Oded Katash, who dropped to 3-3 since joining Hapoel. “We need to maintain our focus and intensity throughout games and tonight we showed the opposite.
We tried different lineups, but couldn’t find our rhythm.”
Jeff Adrien had 31 points and 10 rebounds for Herzliya, which improved to 9-14 after going on a late 7-0 run (84-77).
Maccabi Ashdod moved tied with Jerusalem after claiming its fifth straight win, beating Ironi Ness Ziona (9-14) 97-79. Sek Henry had 23 points and 10 boards for Brad Greenberg’s impressive side.
Daequan Cook scored 28 points for Ness Ziona.
On Monday, Ironi Nahariya (7-15), which has lost six straight games, makes the long trip to Hapoel Eilat (11-11), which has won five of its past six contests.
Leader Hapoel Holon (17-5) hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (10-12), while Hapoel Tel Aviv (11-11) looks to build on its win over Maccabi in the derby when it faces Maccabi Rishon Lezion (9-13).