Maccabi Tel Aviv can choose between Real Madrid and Olimpia Milano

The last game of the 2021/22 EuroLeague regular season will be played tonight in Tel Aviv between Maccabi and Fenerbahce.

Unfortunately, for Fenerbahce, the game doesn’t have much at stake, as the Turkish team is out of playoff contention. This is a huge disappointment as Fener has a great roster, but they were very unlucky too. Starting with the unexpected coaching change in the summer and continuing with many games lost by just a few points, then multiple injuries of star players Nando de Colo or Jan Vesely, they couldn’t be consistent enough throughout the season. Then, the decision to cancel all the results of the Russian teams this season unfairly affected Fenerbahce in the standings. While other teams (like Maccabi for ex.) advanced in the standings after the disqualification of CSKA, Zenit and Unics, Fener had 3-0 against the Russian teams, three wins that proved worthless in the end. It’s unknown if Sasha Djordjevic will stay as the head coach next season too, but the failure of qualifying the team to the playoffs has many explanations too and Fener wasn’t as bad as the standings show.

For Maccabi, today’s game will decide if they finish the regular season 5th or 6th. A win tonight means that the Israeli side will play the playoff series against Real Madrid, while a loss will pair them against Olimpia Milan. As mentioned earlier, Maccabi won from the changed standings after the Russian teams were excluded and no one really anticipated them fighting for the 5th spot. However, they played really well lately, winning their last 5 EuroLeague games and beating teams like Olimpia Milan by 17 and Barcelona by 24 points. With the struggles that Real Madrid has lately and the Covid problems that appeared in Milan’s roster, Maccabi has a real chance to qualify for the Final Four, whichever they will play against.

I’m sure Maccabi will not lose on purpose to avoid Real Madrid and they will try to get their winning streak to six and enter the playoffs with full confidence. Plus, in the last month, they beat both Real and Milan.

Imre Halasz

Image: EuroLeague