By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Maccabi is the only EuroLeague team that will have to give two domestic league games before their next EuroLeague contest. When coach Giannis Sfairopoulos was asked on the matter after the win over ASVEL, he didn’t hide his discontent about the way the Israeli league treats the teams.
As Sfairopoulos said about the odd scheduling: “Thank you for the question because I believe that this is the only league that doesn’t help the teams for their European games. And I am not talking only about Maccabi Tel Aviv. I am also talking about Hapoel Jerusalem, which is participating in the Basketball Champions League, and all the other teams. In all of Europe, the local league helps the teams in European competitions as much as they can. In all of Europe, the local league helps the teams to represent the country in European competitions. And here I don’t see this. And this is very disappointing”.
Sfairopoulos talked about his previous experience as the head coach of Olympiacos and the scheduling of the local league in conjunction to the Euroleague games: “In Greece, because the EuroLeague schedule is announced before the schedule of the Greek championship, the league asks Olympiacos and Panathinaikos when they want to play their games, Saturday or Sunday. And there are never two domestic league games, before a EuroLeague game, Never”.
And he also mentioned what is happening in Russia, where he worked as an assistant in CSKA Moscow: “I will give you another example. In CSKA Moscow, because I worked there too, the longest trip for the domestic league, which is from Moscow to Siberia, is always scheduled before the start of the EuroLeague season. Their league starts earlier, and the first game is always the same because it’s a six hours flight for CSKA to avoid having it during the EuroLeague season. I don’t see here this kind of respect for all the teams which are representing Israeli basketball in Europe. And I am very sorry about that”.