Fenerbahce should win against Maccabi in Lithuania

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul will play Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv tomorrow evening in the Kalnapilio Arena in Panevezys, Lithuania, in a game that counts for Round 19 of the current EuroLeague season. The game was supposed to be played in Istanbul in the Ulker Arena, however, according to the EuroLeague the game was relocated considering recommendations of the Turkish and Israeli government.

The relocation of the game is unfortunate for Fenerbahce who played yesterday in the Ulker Arena and instead of resting they also have to travel for a “home” game. It will be a homecoming for coach Jasikevicius, but for sure the Lithuanian coach would have preferred to play in front of 13000 Fener fans in a crucial game like this. The two teams were tied until yesterday in the standings, but Crvena Zvezda ended the four-game winning streak of Jasikevicius since he took over the Turkish team. It was somewhat a surprising defeat for the team from Istanbul as they played great in the last couple of games and also dominated the first quarter against the Serbian team. However, Zvezda won the next three quarters and managed to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. Nigel Hayes-Davis had a stellar performance for Fenerbahce with 21 points and 9 rebounds (he also had a +/- of -17, the worst in the team) but he couldn’t stop the defeat.

Meanwhile, Maccabi took care of business and won against AS Monaco by 10 points, in a game played in the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade, the temporary home of the Israeli team. Bonzie Colson shot an amazing 9/10 in 2-point field goals, 2/3 in 3-point field goals and finished with 27 points and a 34 PIR. With this win Oded Kattash’s team climbed up to the 4th place in the standings and with a win tomorrow they can create a two-game gap between them and Fenerbahce. Of course, there are still many games to play, but every win is huge in the EuroLeague, especially against teams with a similar record.

Statistically, we can see that Maccabi scores, but also receives more points per game than Fenerbahce and both teams are very balanced in terms of points scored/received (Maccabi has 86.8 scored and 86.5 received, while Fener has 81.8 scored and 81.4 received).

Image credit: EuroLeague

Imre Halasz