Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Gal Mekel is hoping to return to the team’s rotation when it visits Brose Bamberg in Euroleague action tonight, averaging just over six minutes per game to date, while scoring a total of four points..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to get its Euroleague campaign back on track when it hosts German champion Brose Bamberg at Yad Eliyahu Arena on Wednesday night.
Maccabi entered last week’s home game against Efes Istanbul brimming with confidence after claiming three consecutive continental victories, only to be brought back down to earth in painful fashion.
The 86-77 defeat dropped the yellowand- blue to a 5-5 record after the first third of the regular season, leaving it in sixth place of 16 teams in the standings.
The top eight will advance to the playoffs after 30 games each, but with just two games separating Olympiacos in fourth place and Olimpia Milano in 13th, including five teams at 5-5, it is still far too early to predict the identity of the quarterfinalists.
Even Bamberg can still dream of reaching the playoffs despite sitting in last place after losing eight of its first 10 games. Bamberg has lost five games in a row, but three of those defeats came by two points or less, including last week’s 90-88 heartbreaking loss to reigning champion CSKA Moscow.
In fact, six of the German side’s defeats were by four points or fewer, although it comes to Tel Aviv with a 0-5 record on the road this season.
“It’s a very, very tough court. One of the toughest courts in Europe,” said Bamberg coach Andrea Trinchieri regarding playing at Yad Eliyahu.
“They are a team with a lot of offensive talent. They have a couple of players that can score 25 points. I will be happy if we are able to compete and take one step forward on the little things.”
Despite Trinchieri’s concerns, Maccabi has lost three of five Euroleague games at Yad Eliyahu so far this season. Nevertheless, it will still be confident of beating Bamberg and registering its seventh win in the last eight games over all competitions after surviving a scare to edge Maccabi Haifa in BSL action on Sunday.
“I’m happy we managed to beat Haifa, but there is no time to worry about our level of performance at Maccabi Tel Aviv because we have another game we have to win on Wednesday,” said Maccabi coach Rami Hadar. “We are undergoing a process and a team can’t always play well, especially with a schedule like ours. Highs and lows are part of every team’s season.”
Maccabi is set to receive a boost in the coming weeks after Quincy Miller came through 5-on-5 drills with the team on Monday. Miller has yet to play for the team after injuring his knee during an off-season scrimmage at the University of California, Los Angeles, five months ago, with an MRI revealing that he tore his PCL.On TV: Euroleague basketball: Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Brose Baskets Bamberg (live on Sport5 at 7:25 p.m.)