The debate regarding Maccabi Tel Aviv’s decision to add the Adriatic League to
its schedule this season will likely never be resolved.
However, there is
little doubt that a failure to lift the Adriatic title at Nokia Arena on Monday
night would be a massive disappointment considering the yellow-and-blue’s
investment in the competition.
Maccabi easily finished top of the regular
season standings, recording a 24-2 record, outscoring its opponents by 15.5
points per game in its victories.
In fact, Tel Aviv only really lost one
game in the regular season, with its second defeat coming virtue of a technical
loss to Buducnost after it was unable to arrange a date to host the Montenegrins
due to its already packed schedule.
Maccabi still finished five games
clear of its nearest rivals and will face Buducnost (18-8) in Saturday’s second
semifinal at Nokia after Cedevita Zagreb (19-7) and Partizan Belgrade (19-7)
play for a place in the final earlier in the evening.
Tel Aviv defeated
Buducnost 81-69 on the road when the teams met in late October and has bounced
back from its Euroleague exit at the hands of Panathinaikos earlier this month
with five straight BSL wins.
“The game against Hapoel Jerusalem was a
good preparation for the Adriatic League Final Four and it has given us
momentum,” said Maccabi guard Keith Langford after his team’s 89-80 victory at
Malha Arena on Sunday.
“We are now ready to jump into the deep end and we
want to finish the season the best way possible.
“We need to approach the
game against Buducnost the way we did all our 80 games this season. We need to
play with high intensity and make sure we are ready because we know they will be
“We aren’t under pressure, especially as we have home-court
In other basketball news, Maccabi Haifa announced on Thursday
that it has hired former Syracuse University associate head coach Bernie Fine as
a basketball consultant.
Fine, who will be based in the United States and
will consult with the club on player personnel decisions as well as the team’s
coaching search, was fired from Syracuse last November after 36 straight seasons
as assistant amid allegations that he sexually molested two former ball
A federal investigation is ongoing, with Fine denying any