Less than three weeks after he was caught calling Hapoel Tel Aviv player
Jonathan Skjoldebrand a Nazi during the derby, Guy Pnini was back in training
with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Pnini was suspended indefinitely,
stripped of the captaincy and fined NIS 100,000 for the incident, but he is now
set to return to action in Maccabi’s upcoming Euroleague Top 16 opener at
Montepaschi Siena on Thursday night.
Pnini will have to wait slightly
longer before he returns to play in the BSL, with the Israel Basketball
Association suspending him for four games, meaning he won’t be back before
Maccabi’s encounter at Hapoel Jerusalem on January 6.
shouldn’t even notice Pnini’s absence when it hosts Maccabi Ashdod at Nokia
Arena on Sunday.
Tel Aviv leads the league standings with an 8-1 record,
while Ashdod is rock-bottom at 2-7.
Ashdod can, however, draw some
encouragement from its play over the past couple of weeks, with Ofer Berkowitz’s
team beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion in its most-recent BSL game before surprising
Hapoel Tel Aviv in the last 16 of the State Cup.
Hapoel Eilat, which has
only lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv over its last seven games, will hope to maintain
its hold on second place when it hosts Bnei Herzliya on Sunday.
Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv will welcome Barak Netanya, which has lost four straight
after opening the season 5-0, while Ironi Ashkelon, which has won four
consecutive contests after beginning the campaign 0-5, visits Maccabi
On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem goes to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil and Hapoel
Holon hosts Rishon Lezion.