Scottie Willbekin and Othello Hunter – back for Maccabi Tel Aviv against Alba Berlin

Good news for Maccabi Tel Aviv fans. After being affected by many injuries, the Israeli powerhouse is having again a larger roster at disposal. Not only the new signings, Aaron Jackson and Jalen Reynolds that made their debut with the team last Euroleague round, in Kaunas, against Zalgiris, but as well Scottie Willbekin and Othello Hunter will play for Maccabi in Berlin.

The injured players were already recovered for the domestic league’s game where Maccabi Tel Aviv faced Ironi Nes-Ziona. Scottie Wilbekin has spent 20 minutes on the court, ending with 6 points and 3 assists while Othello Hunter had 15 points and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes played. The comeback of these 2 key-players is giving Maccabi Tel Aviv a huge advantage in front of Alba Berlin.

The main problem of the Israeli powerhouse in the last Euroleague rounds was exactly the short bench, due to so many injuries. They led with 15 points at Zalgiris, but in the end, they lost the control of the game exactly because of the rotation. For the new acquisitions, Aaron Jackson and Jalen Raynolds it was their first game with the squad and that’s why they couldn’t show their real value. Now they are better integrated in the roster and I expect them to have a good contribution to the victory.

On the other side, Alba Berlin is an ambitious team, with many young talents and a clever coach Aito Garcia Reneses but I don’t think they will resist Maccabi’s pressure. They would have a chance in the absence of the injured players of the Israeli team, but now with a large roster Maccabi Tel Aviv has to smash them. It is not an ordinary game that can be lost, because this season Maccabi has made a big effort to sign many valuable players and they aim for a spot in the Final4 of the Euroleague. From this point of view any game matters for them like a real derby.

Photo: Euroleague

Gratian Cormos