(photo credit: Cajasol Sevilla website)
The last thing Hapoel Jerusalem needs at the moment is a game against Maccabi
Oded Katash’s team got back to winning ways with a victory in
the State Cup last 16 at Hapoel Afula last week, but it has yet to really
recover from its early Eurocup exit and the humbling 23-point BSL thrashing at
the hands of Maccabi Ashdod.
Multiple injuries left Katash without enough
players to hold proper training sessions several times during the last few
weeks, and Brian Randle and Yuval Naimi are both still doubtful for Sunday’s
showdown against the yellow-andblue at Malha Arena.
Yogev Ohayon returned
to action in last week’s cup game, but Hapoel remains a clear underdog against
Tel Aviv beat Jerusalem 75-55 when the teams met at Nokia Arena
earlier this season, and with a 19-2 record in all competitions, Maccabi is one
of the hottest teams in European basketball.
Nevertheless, Tel Aviv –
which has split its last 10 encounters at Malha – has no intention of taking
Sunday’s game lightly, with assistant coach Guy Goodes wary of the threat posed
“Everyone is looking at Jerusalem’s recent results, but
this is not an easy game,” said Goodes, who joined Maccabi this summer after two
seasons as Jerusalem’s head coach.
“Hapoel is a good team with a talented
roster and players who are coming back from injuries.
The games against
Jerusalem are always difficult and interesting and I’m expecting another tough
Meanwhile, Maccabi Ashdod will look to continue its surprising
run when it visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Sunday.
newly-promoted side has won six of its last seven league games and outplayed
Bnei Hasharon on its way to the quarterfinals of the cup last week.
Sunday, Maccabi Haifa’s new coach Ami Nawi will try and lead his team to its
first win after six straight losses when Barak Netanya comes to
Bnei Hasharon visited Hapoel Holon on Saturday, with Ironi
Ashkelon to welcome Hapoel Gilboa/Galil on Monday.