18 long years have passed since the city of Tel Aviv saw a derby in the playoff final and tomorrow (Thursday) it will finally happen when Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Menora Mivtachim Arena for the first game of the playoff finals series.
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans drive the players crazy at the end of the final training session ahead of the playoff final against Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow
The two teams completed their final preparations for the game on Wednesday evening and held a final practice. Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Oded Katsch spoke ahead of the match: "We are after a very long season, over 82 games, but the players are still hungry, want and know that we are playing against a good team. You have to be very focused and prepared, have good energy. It's true that the attention was on other things in the last two or three days, we tried to deal with basketball."
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans are maddening the players at the end of the final training session ahead of the playoff final against Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow,
Ketch added: "Playing and coaching at Maccabi Tel Aviv is something that is accompanied by a lot of background noise, thanks to the staff and in general to the entire organization that makes sure that we are isolated from this matter, and we really try to deal only with basketball and want to play in the right way."
Referring to his former player Jacoben Brown, the coach said: "You can't just relate to one player. There's no doubt that knowing him he controls and influences a lot of things, but Hapoel Tel Aviv has some of the best foreign and Israeli squad I can remember in the league, so it's challenging."
Even before Hapoel Tel Aviv's final training session, the fans were devouring the players in the hope that they would win the first game of the series tomorrow.
Reds coach Dani Franco shared his feelings: "Events didn't trickle down here, certainly not to the players. We were able to cut them off and focus on what's important. The Israelis are involved and calling, none of us thought anything else would happen so we weren't too excited. We had a big problem with the rebound in the last game against them, it's not something you can practice in the two days before the series. There may be a problem there, it can help with understanding."
The hottest sports articles and updates on your Telegram
The Reds manager continued: "These teams have played more than any other team this season and kept the squad, that's very important at this point. We found our balance in my opinion, I think both teams need to be ready. It's a shame the series isn't 5 games, but that's the situation. It's fun to watch this game. The burden of proof is on us, we have succeeded in everything to date. It's a challenge for us against a very well-trained and good team. Maccabi has been a favorite for decades in our basketball, we have the ability to compete."
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us