Maccabi returned from their 3-game NBA tour on Monday, and are ready to tip-off the 2017-18 season on the road against Maccabi Ashdod on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Next week, Maccabi Hunter Haifa will host two home games — the first one on Monday at 8:10 p.m. against Nes Ziona and the second against Rishon Lezion on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
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New and old faces
The Greens’ roster includes several returning players, including Captain Oz Blayzer who suits up for his third season in Haifa, forward Will Graves who is in his fourth season, Willy Workman, Daniel Koperberg, Netanel Artzi and Gal Baruch. Dagan Yivzori also returned to a Green uniform, after previously playing two seasons with the team.
Three imports joined Rahimi’s roster, Angel Rodriguez, who came from France, Brandon Bowman who played last season with Kiryat Gat and Luke Martinez, who came from Mexico. In addition, one of the Israeli U20 National Team starters, Roi Huber, and French-Israeli Fredric Bourdillon also joined the team.
“It’s exciting to open a new season,” Rahimi said. “We are up for a tough game at Ashdod, and for me personally, it’s exciting to play against Brad Greenberg, who taught me a lot. I hope that we will come focused and committed, in order to open the season the right way.”
Last season’s number
Last season, Maccabi faced Ashdod four times — three times in the league and once in the cup. The team’s split the series (Maccabi beat Ashdod twice in the league and Ashdod won one game in the league and one in the cup). Greens’ Captain, Oz Blayzer averaged a double-double against Ashdod in three league games on 11.6 points and 11.3 rebounds along with 4 assists per game, compiling a 21 VAL.
“We are all very excited to open the season,” said Blayzer. “We came back from the NBA tour, which connected us as a team, and I hope it will help us tomorrow at Ashdod. We’ve made all the preparations, so we will come to fight in order to achieve our first win this season.”
Friends from the past
Ashdod features a brand new roster, besides team captain, Adam Ariel, who remained on the team from last season. Maccabi will see two familiar faces, head coach Brad Greenberg, who guided the Greens to their historic championship in 2012-13 season. Rahimi was an assistant coach under Greenberg during the historic run. Also, center Alex Chubrevich who joined Ashdod after playing with Holon last season, will face Maccabi, after playing four seasons for the Greens.