Summary of Hapoel Tel Aviv's victory 69:108 over Prometheus in the Eurocup (Sport1)
Maccabi Tel Aviv dreamed of securing qualification for the Euroleague playoffs in front of the home crowd tonight (Thursday, 21:05) against Olympia Milan, but the victories of Baskonia the day before yesterday and Zalgiris Kovna last night denied it the possibility.
If the yellows beat the Italian rivals, they will need one loss of Basconi (host Fenerbahce), Zalgiris (at Valencia) or Partizan Belgrade (at home against Real Madrid) to reserve their place in the last eight.
If Oded Ketch's team loses tonight, they will in any case not be able to guarantee promotion at the end of the 32nd round.
The developments in the opponent's matches for the ticket to the quarter-finals slightly increased the tension and fear among the Maccabi Tel Aviv players, who have 18 wins and 13 losses.
"In the end, we knew that the number needed to go up is 19 wins, and probably one more win will be enough for us," said one of the club's people last night after the Lithuanians won.
"We are in great momentum, but as we entered it with the victory over Fenerbahce after a less than good period, it is easy to lose it if we are not focused. This is a decisive game."
Probably one more victory will be enough, but it has to be achieved.
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: Danny Maron)
On the professional side, Maccabi Tel Aviv knows that they will face one of the best defensive teams that the Euroleague has to offer tonight: only Olympiakos scores a lower average of points than Milan, by a difference of 0.7 per game.
The differences in styles between Ettore Messina's team and the Yellows are quite large, with Maccabi Tel Aviv scoring 9.2 more points per game on average and conceding 5.1 more.
"All the games are super important looking towards the playoffs, it's especially important to keep our home. Milan has been playing great basketball lately, so we have to come prepared," said Jake Cohen referring to the game.
Euroleague and European basketball
Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball