Adi Avishai

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv guard Norris Cole admits that his side are fighting for their EuroLeague lives.

Speaking in his EuroLeague blog, the former NBA champion admits that a lot has happened since they beat Baskonia in the second week of the season.

They face the Vitoria-based side again fighting for their playoff lives.

This week we have a big game for sure. We are playing for our playoff lives,” Cole said. “I think we are up for the challenge. I am looking forward to seeing how we respond to this game.

“We beat Baskonia back in Round 2, but that was so long ago. They are a different team now. They are obviously playing a lot better. They are probably the hottest team in the EuroLeague right now. The last five or six games, they’ve been playing really well. But none of that will matter on Thursday. What matters is that we are playing for our playoff lives. We have to do everything we can to walk out of there with a win. That’s our focus. I am sure we are going to look at some things from the first game we played against Baskonia, but they are playing different now, they are under new leadership now, they are a totally different team than when we played them earlier.

“Baskonia plays very well at home. Defensively they are pretty good. They have a lot of sizes. They play well together. We are going to have to deal with their size and how well they play and shoot the ball at home. They have a strong inside game with a dominant four-man, Toko Shengelia; he’s been a force all year in the EuroLeague. They have some good pieces. They have good guard play with Granger, Beaubois and Huertas. It’s going to be a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”