After opening the season with two road defeats, one in the BSL and one in the
Euroleague, Maccabi Tel Aviv will be hoping to get its campaign up and running
when its hosts Maccabi Haifa at Nokia Arena on Monday evening in a repeat of
last season’s championship decider.
Three days later, Maccabi will
welcome Red Star Belgrade to Tel Aviv in its first Euroleague home game of
2013/14 and the yellow-and-blue will be targeting two confidence-boosting
victories after a frustrating first week to the season.
The 83-73 BSL
loss to Hapoel Holon after being outscored 22-8 in the fourth period was
followed by a dismal first half in Spain on Thursday, with Maccabi entering the
break down by 10 points (48-38).
Tel Aviv fought back to seize the
initiative, leading by four points (75-71) with four minutes to play. However, a
9-2 run by the hosts in the final 2:50 minutes of the contest secured Vitoria an
84-80 win and left Maccabi coach David Blatt to lament what might have
“I wasn’t surprised by how well Vitoria played in the first half. I
was surprised by how badly we played,” said Blatt, who will surely still draw
encouragement from the form of Ricky Hickman (20 points) and Joe Ingles (14
“We were ready to stop them but we failed to do so.
are very disappointed because we had a chance to win. On the other hand, there
were some good aspects that we can build on.”
Haifa, which stunned
Maccabi in the BSL final last season, will be playing its first league game of
2013/14 on Monday after last week’s scheduled encounter against Barak Netanya
was postponed due to Haifa’s US tour in which it was thrashed in its three games
against the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.
Greens also lost 75-67 to Unics Kazan in their Eurocup opener last Wednesday,
but Danny Franco’s side showed plenty of promise against the Russian powerhouse
and will be looking to make a statement at Nokia Arena.
bounced back from last week’s shock BSL loss to Maccabi Ashdod at Malha Arena
with a hardfought 84-76 victory over Lukoil Academic Sofia in its Eurocup
Jerusalem visits Bnei Herzliya on Sunday, with the latter still
reeling from Jonathan Skjoldebrand’s three-pointer with two seconds to play that
gave Hapoel Tel Aviv a dramatic 76-75 win over the Sharon side last
Ashdod will aim to build on last week’s upset when it hosts Netanya
Holon will hope it doesn’t suffer a painful return to earth
following the victory over Maccabi when it welcomes Ironi Ness
Also Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Eilat and Maccabi
Rishon Lezion hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.On TV: Bnei Herzliya vs Hapoel Jerusalem (live on Sport5 at 8:30 p.m.)
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