Oded Ketch: "Maccabi Tel Aviv wants to win every game, the reality is different"
The Yellows held a press conference before the opening of the Euroleague season against Zalgiris on Thursday, the coach: "I will not fall into the trap of expectations. I want there to be a healthy process here, for people to smile."
Vujic: "I believe we can achieve many things"
Monday, 03 October 2022, 16:52
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Maccabi Tel Aviv held its press conference today (Monday) ahead of its season opener in the Euroleague against Zalgiris Kovna on Thursday, in which Oded Ketch spoke about the expectations from his new team and the state of preparations.
As I recall, the Yellows added eight new foreign players - guards Wade Baldwin, Lorenzo Brown, Darren Hilliard and Austin Hollins, forwards Jarl Martin and Bonzie Coulson, and interior players Alex Poithers and Josh Niebo, who were also joined by two Israelis - Guy Panini and Rafi Manko.
Chairman Shimon Mizrahi, who opened the press conference, commented on the renewal of the staff: "This year, unlike previous years, already in July most of the staff was already signed.
This performance this time has more significance than usual, since the squad includes no less than 10 new players as well as old-new ones, something that also happened in the professional team.
We are proud of the continued cooperation with Playtica and all the other sponsors, and we are proud that the places in the hall were already sold out in September."
Embarking on a new journey.
Ketch with Mizrahi and Nikola Vycic (Photo: Udi Tsitiat)
"We are very excited and happy to be here," Ketch began his words.
"Every year is challenging, this year in particular a team was built here with 10 new players, with a particularly challenging pre-season because of the European Championship and a short amount of time. Everyone is here long enough to understand the responsibility we have to lead a team with a tradition like that of Maccabi Tel Aviv, and we are aware of the size The expectations. This will only happen if we concentrate every day. We want to come to work day with the utmost seriousness so that we know that we did our best and the audience will be proud of us. We have built a team with a lot of abilities, but above all with a special character, this is what will make us a special team, with synergy And one that will continue to improve. You can understand that it is being built day by day, work is needed there too, you have to concentrate on what you are doing and the process, and that will lead to results. A new team will be built here, David's combination, we feel every day honored and privileged to be a part of this. I want to congratulate My team for the efforts, Nicola and the scouting team for the team built here. We have a lot of work,
On the team that was built under him: "Each player that sits here was carefully selected, it's not just me, it's an entire team that gave a lot of thought to make this team come to fruition. We want to create a certain identity and a way in which we want to play, things related to basketball we'll see over time get better and better and we'll find the chemistry and the understanding of how to get the best out of this team. Regarding the amount of effort, from the very first moment we would like to see 100% of these things. We have no expectation that this month will look perfect, what will make us an excellent team is the character of the players and our day-to-day, where we are We need to be better."
On the changes in the rotation from the league to the Euroleague: "There are aspirations and there are realities. You can't change the rules, you have to play within them. It makes it difficult and confusing sometimes, for us coaches but especially for the players, the players who are here are experienced, they also understand it and are ready to accept it. We as a team do not We divide the team, we don't talk about different basketball. We treat each game individually, we ask for the same effort and the same offensive and defensive habits. We go up and play the same way. That's the way to look at it."
"A lot of things have happened since then. I know where I am, it's my duty and responsibility," Ketch replied when asked if he felt indebted to the club because he won the Euroleague as a player at the expense of the Yellows.
Later, he added regarding the season without titles from which the team is coming: "I was not part of last year, personally I will not fall into the trap of expectations. I would be happy for it to seep into the players, the understanding that this is Maccabi Tel Aviv and they want to win in every game and in every setting. The reality is different, We know what our goals are, we want to do the best, it's hard to know and point to one specific goal. When the season is over, we will be able to know if we were worth more or less. If we allow outside pressures to affect us, the effort and connection between us, it may have an effect. I want him to be here A healthy process, for people to come and smile."
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Maccabi Tel Aviv owners David Federman and Udi Recanati with chairman Shimon Mizrahi (Photo: Udi Citiat)
Guy Panini, who returned in the summer for a second term in yellow, said: "It is very exciting for me to be here, to see all the faces again. Although we have been together for two or three weeks and every day is exciting for me, seeing everyone here for an official press conference is exciting. Seeing all The pictures from the past are fun, but it is what it was, we have to look forward. There is a new team here with amazing character. It will take time to connect all these players, we have the potential to do beautiful things, let's hope we do it."
Mizrahi commented on the two comebacks of the summer: "We have to remember who we are talking about - we are talking about Guy Panini who was captain of the team, a player who lifted trophies and championship plates, who is also almost a coach on the court, his added value is not only in shooting threes, but also in his personality and character and the wisdom of the game. We We thought that together with him this year he should return to the club. There is no need to say much about David Blatt, he won the European Championship with the team in 2014, he is decorated with medals and trophies and Olympic titles, his professional knowledge is invaluable, and although he is also a consultant to the Canadian Basketball Association, All the time his eyes are watching us in Israel, we have always been helped by his connections in the NBA. We thought this was the most necessary step that could be."
Return for another term.
Guy Panini with Rafi Manko (Photo: Udi Tsitiat)
Baldwin, who is supposed to be a central screw in Maccabi, said: "My first experience in Tel Aviv is blessed. This is one of the clubs I wanted to play for after I left Olympiakos, the first month with ups and downs but you can expect that in a team with 10 new players and we were without our coordinator. When you With two of the best playmakers in the Euroleague in recent years, it will help everyone, that's clear."
Yeftah Ziv, who is starting a second season at Maccabi Tel Aviv, added: "I hope this season will be different from the previous one, this is a new team, I hope it will be a successful and good season. We have a connection of people in terms of character, I hope also in my personal aspect. I learned a lot. I need To understand what this place is, to listen to the team, he only wants your best, and with the help of this to improve as a team."
Sports director Nikola Vujic said: "It's always good to show the players these videos and understand what Maccabi is, what our history is and our goals. We have 108 titles, and the goal is to collect more. That's our goal and with the support of the fans we will be very good again. We will give our hearts in every game, we will make the fans happy after the games in the hall. We think we have done a very good job to match players who can play together, to build an attractive, aggressive and athletic team. If you compare it to our previous teams, we may lack depth, but if we are healthy , I believe we can achieve a lot of things here."
The duo that should lead Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Baldwin and Lorenzo Brown (Photo: Udi Citiat)
Earlier today, the club announced that the cooperation with Playtika will continue for a third year in which the gaming giant will serve as the team's main sponsor.
As part of the agreement, another mascot called Tika the cheetah will be added to Donnie the dog - the official mascot of the Yellows.
Euroleague and European basketball
Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball