EuroLeague preview: Panathinaikos aim to slay Real

Panathinaikos will aim to get back to winning ways on Thursday when they host EuroLeague leaders Real Madrid and a victory for the Greeks will in fact secure a spot in the post-season.

For Real, they have already secured a spot in the Playoffs so maybe Panathinaikos are playing them at the right time but the Liga Endesa giants are competing for home court advantage, which they would capture should they win in Athens.

“Panathinaikos is a high-level opponent who is in the playoff spots right now and whose coach, Xavi Pascual, knows us very well,” said Madrid coach Pablo Laso.

“They made life difficult for us in the Madrid game and they are trying to secure their ticket. It will be a difficult game for which we will have to be focused from the first minute. We have our own goals, and we want to secure home-court advantage, so we have to be competitive.”

~~~ EFES LOOK TO END MACCABI’S SEASON ~~~

Anadolu Efes will look to boost their own Playoff chances as well officially ending Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv’s when they meet in Istanbul.

Maccabi do hold an advantage as the Israeli giants have claimed seven of the previous 12 meetings between the two. However, Anadolu Efes won the last meeting in Tel Aviv as 22 points by Derrick Brown secured an 86-77 win.

“Every game is important, we prepared as usual and we still have a chance to get in the Playoffs,” Maccabi coach Ainars Bagaskis said.

“I always believe. Efes is a big-sized team and we’ve had issues with that this season, but we will try to compensate, play patient and use the situations that will be presented to us during the game.”

~~~ LAST CHANCE SALOON FOR BAMBERG? ~~~

Brose Bamberg’s dwindling chances of a EuroLeague Playoff spot are on the line on Thursday when they host Fenerbahce.

Bamberg currently own a 9-16 mark this season but have been let down by their performances in the clutch. Their cause will not be helped if Anadolu Efes manages to beat Maccabi earlier in the evening.

For Fenerbahce, they are still three wins away from a promised spot in the post-season.

~~~ TWO GAMES IN A BID TO FINISH SEASON STRONG ~~~

While Crvena Zvezda are locked in a battle for a Playoff spot, their opponents, EA7 Milano are aiming to finish the season on a high note having been eliminated from contention last week. The two teams meet in the fashion capital on Thursday.

And Unics Kazan host Playoff hopefuls Zalgiris with the Russian side unable to qualify for the post-season following eight straight losses.