Maccabi Haifa takes on Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow (Sunday) at 9:05 p.m. at Menora Mictahim Arena in Tel Aviv, marking their 103rd contest all-time against one another in the regular season.
The Greens are coming into Sunday’s game after a home win over Holon, and the Yellows won their last league game at Rishon Lezion, but lost in the Euroleague to powerhouse CZKA Moscow last Thursday.
Maccabi Haifa’s victory over Holon (66-62) highlighted the team’s fortitude on both sides of the court. The MVP of the game for the Greens was Rene Rougeau, who broke out after a subpar start to the season. Rougeau had an impressive stat line with 14 points, 5 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds, in 37 minutes. The two centers, Alex Chubrevich (11 points and 6 rebounds) and Reggie Buckner (7 points in 9 minutes), were also very productive for Haifa.
“The road game against Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of the hardest games in the league, but we will come to execute our game plan and try to surprise,” head coach Rami Hadar, said.
The upcoming game will be especially interesting, since 4 players on the Yellow roster are former Maccabi Haifa players. Dagan Yivzori, who played for two years in Green and was the team’s Captain last season, signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv, as well as Green star, Ike Ofoegbu, who signed a short-term contract with the Yellows. Brian Randle and Sylven Landsberg, also donned a Maccabi Haifa.
“Two good friends and former teammates are playing for the other side, so it will be fun to play against Dagan and Ike,” said team captain, Chanan Colman. “To play against Maccabi Tel Aviv is always a tough game, but we are coming to play our game, like every game, extremely aggressive on defense and a lot of pressure.”
The Yellows from Tel Aviv are coming to the game with a 5-2 record, with losses to Jerusalem and Ashdod, and recently hired former NBA player Zan Tabak, after firing coach Guy Goodes, who paid the price for the Yellows poor performance in the Euroleague. Besides the four former Haifa players, Maccabi Tel Aviv signed several well known names, including NBA champ (with the Lakers), Jordan Farmar, who averages 11.2 points and 4.0 assists per game and last season Euroleague’s top-scorer, Tyler Rochestie (9.8 points per game). In the paint they feature, Ofoegbu, Trevor Mbakwe and Arinze Onuaku.