Maccabi focuses on retaining local title

With the Euroleague final disappointment still lingering, the team turns its attention to the Israeli championship.

will bynum 88 (photo credit: AP)
will bynum 88
(photo credit: AP)
With the Euroleague final disappointment still lingering Maccabi Tel Aviv turned its attention on Tuesday to the only title it can still claim this season, the Israeli championship. Despite the 91-77 defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague final on Sunday, Maccabi's European campaign will still be remembered as a resounding success. The same, however, will not be said about its league challenge should the perennial champion fail to win a 15th straight BSL title on May 29. Tel Aviv has struggled in the league so far this season, losing seven of 23 games to date, and three of its last four encounters. Maccabi has four more games in the regular season to regain its dominating form, starting with Hapoel Galil Elyon on Thursday, before it plays its Final Four semifinal at the Nokia Arena on May 27. "Nobody likes to lose in a final, but we had an excellent European season and lost to a better team," Maccabi coach Tzvika Sherf said upon the team's arrival in Israel on Monday night. "We will now search for the energy we need to focus on the league and the Final Four and win the championship." The game will mark Oded Katash's first return to Maccabi Tel Aviv as coach of Galil Elyon since being fired from the post at Maccabi in December last year. Will Bynum, who top scored for Maccabi against CSKA with 23 points, said he was planning to return to local league play "with a vengeance" "We're very disappointed to be returning without the cup, but we gave all we had and CSKA was simply the better side. "We will have dominate the league once more and if we play in the way we did against Siena and CSKA we will be alright."