EuroLeague preview: Panathinaikos and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv renew historic rivalry

For the 35th time in as many years, Panathinaikos and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv will square off in Athens, highlighting Thursday’s action in the EuroLeague.

Both sides lost in the last round as head coaches Xavi Pascual (Panathinaikos) and Rami Hadar (Maccabi) tasted defeat for the first time in their third game in charge.

Maccabi currently owns a 18-16 edge in their long-standing rivalry, which has included three championship games,the latest being in 2011, a semifinal and a five-game playoff series this century. The last time they met, two seasons ago, they split home wins.

∞∞∞ DARUSSAFAKA DOGUS AIM FOR FIRST HOME WIN ∞∞∞

Darussafaka Dogus currently own a 3-2 record, with the three victories coming on the road. The Turkish side aim to break their duck at the third time of asking at home when they play host to Brose Baskets.

The Istanbul side have history on their side as well, they are 2-0 against their German counterparts with the two victories coming last season.

Thursday’s clash in Istanbul will also see Darussafaka’s leading scorer Bradley Wanamaker (15.0 ppg) face off against his former club for the first time since moving from Brose Baskets in the off-season.

∞∞∞ BARCELONA LOOK TO BUILD ON TWO-GAME WINNING RUN ∞∞∞

Despite a slow start to the EuroLeague season and a number of players out injured, Barcelona are on a two-game winning streak as they host Zalgiris in round six.

The Catalan side are currently 3-2 this season and with a dominant 18-2 record over the Lithuanian champions on their side, it’s hard to see anything other than a Barca win.

But Zalgiris’ two wins in the EuroLeague have come at the Palau Blaugrana with the last win coming on December 10, 2015 when Mantas Kalnietis’ 16 points helped the Kaunas side to a 92-88 win.

∞∞∞ ELSEWHERE ∞∞∞

After stunning Fenerbahce on their home floor, Unics Kazan will look to continue where they left off in Istanbul when they host Crvena Zvezda on Thursday.

This will be the first meeting of the two sides in the EuroLeague since 2000, with all six meetings coming in EuroCup competition.

And Anadolu Efes travel to EA7 Milano on Thursday looking to add to their impressive 15-5 record against their Italian counterparts.

“We must win this game,” said Anadolu Efes guard Thomas Heurtel. “We know that if we win this game the victory will help us to be in good situation. We know that they have good players and good coach. We will try to keep going on our way by winning.”

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