The vast experience versus in those stages of the Eurolegue is Maccabi’s only advantage in this match up. They prepared themselves for this game by resting some key players in their last game against Rishon which subsequently was lost by 20 points margin (old Maccabi trick losing the games before the great matches believing that is a remedy for a win), the expectations were laid low and the reigning Euroleague Champion absolutely disguised itself as an absolute underdog to the team that only once – in 2008 – reached the Top Eight. Maccabi won all 6 matches against Fenerbahce Ulker in the past but now we are sold the story that Maccabi has no chance because of Zeliko Obradovic and the great team the Turks have. Turkey is also presented as the very hard venue for Maccabi to succeed because of the local fans and current state of animosity between the two countries. Well, Maccabi alsready beat Galatasaray in Turkey at this season’s Top Sixteen (and also in Tel Aviv). And Fener is all but Turks in key positions. Although they have a great team – at those stages in the opener of Best Of Five – Maccabi will do everything it can to steal at the least one game. Also Maccabi fans were refused by the Turks who allocated only 50 (!!!) seats for the Israeli fans. Well, I don’t buy the hype which is created by Maccabi itself. It is hard to believe how we are asked to believe that the reigning Euroleague Champion who has been in 15 finals than and won the Title 6 times (only second to Real Madrid who won 8 times and was runner up 8 times while most of the wins coming in early sixties of the last century) is an underdog in these series and Pini Gershon saying that Maccabi already has accomplished more than it thought it will. Really? Last season too Maccabi “surprisingly” made the Top Eight, final four, beat with the last basket only to lead in the whole game the mighty CSKA only to beat in OT even mightier Real Madrid and win the Title (stole it – that as how it was perceived).
Now, with all that said – Maccabi aren’t fools and will save their effort for the Fourth Quarter. Therefore they may put the Turks asleep in the first half by letting them to lead with the single digit points. 4.5 points spread for the half time and 7.5 point spread for the whole game says exactly that.
This is a 10 Units Play
Fenerbahce Ulker -4.5 First Half -110