Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to return to its winning ways in Group B of the Euroleague when it hosts Croatian champion Cibona Zagreb
on Thursday night at Nokia Arena.
Last week Maccabi struggled down the stretch and lost 83-78 on the road at Olympiacos, ending an 11-game Euroleague winning streak.
The two-time defending Euroleague champs haven't had a chance to test themselves since. Their only game was a State Cup match against second division Gilboa Afula, in which coach Pini Gershon didn't even dress starting forwards Anthony Parker
and Maceo Baston
Baston is expected to play, although an ankle problem has limited his effectiveness in recent weeks.
Cibona's best player is point guard James "Scoonie" Penn, who is best remembered by Maccabi for a 33-point, eight-assist performance as he led Red Star Belgrade to a 100-93 win in TelAviv back in December 2002 in the Adriatic League.
Penn and backcourt mate Davor Kus are averaging 13 point per game this season for Cibona. Damir Markota, 20, is the team's top inside player with 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds this season.
Center Jurica Zuza is ill and did not travel to Israel with the team.
Marconato to reach 100 Euroleague games
Barcelona center Denis Marconato will become the first player to reach 100 games in the modern Euroleague when he takes the court Thursday in his team's home game against Lietuvos Rytas.
CSKA's David Andersen
and Luis Scola
of Tau Vitoria trail Marconato by one game.
The Italian has averaged 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds over his Euroleague career at Benetton Treviso and Barcelona.