The Arena again as judge. The Herbalife, that last week on two occasions saw how his fans dictated sentence against him after the defeats against the Turkish Efes in the Euroleague and with the Iberostar Tenerife in the derby, he appears tonight (20.00 hours, Movistar) at the Coliseum of Siete Palmas looking for the forgiveness of some fans who did not hesitate to show their discomfort with loud blows to players and, above all, to the coach Salva Maldonado. Opposite, the everlasting Maccabi Tel Aviv, a classic that lands on the island also in low hours.
The malaise of the yellow tide It is evident. The illusion of being part of the most important season in the history of the entity with its participation in the most important competition on the planet after the NBA, has given way to anxiety in just two months.
The fans, knowing that the potential of the Granca as a club would not allow great bravado in the Euroleague, I did hope that theirs showed a bit more competitiveness. And if we add that the performance of the Claretian team in the Endesa League keeps the same gray tone as in the continental tournament, the discontent becomes generalized.
In this environment of frustration, the victory seems like the only antidote and the defeat, another hard blow to fit in sports and morality for the staff of the Granca, which before the Maccabi Tel Aviv starts a carrousel of five games that will end on Sunday next week at the Arena against Movistar Estudiantes.
Despite the convulsive moment, coach Salva Maldonado, a target on which criticism is focused, says he feels strong: "I'm fine, with stomach ache, my own profession, with better and worse moments, serene, with I want to get the team to improve in order to achieve victories, convinced that this will be the case, although in terms of forms there are several ways of doing it, knowing where I am and where I was, "he explains.
Of course, the Catalan coach of Granca says that his philosophy will not change. "We are not going to change the type of game, we know what weaknesses we have, what we should improve and what strengths we have, we are not playing as we expect, it is clear that we have to improve the defense," he says.
Inciding on this issue, Salva Maldonado notes that "we are not going to play to try to win with possessions of 24, not me, let's play the style that I identify with and the one I think most fans like, at least when we win, but of course the problem now is that we are not winning, but I like it more this style than others. "
Although the rival that visits Siete Palmas tonight, the Maccabi Tel Aviv, has a palmarés five stars -Six times European champion-, this season, like the last ones, he does not manage to settle among the greats of the Euroleague – his last title dates from the 2013-14 campaign when he won the final against Madrid – despite the economic disproportion that each year.
In the current course, with six days already consumed of the tournament, he is in the tail car of the qualifying table, rubbing shoulders with three of the new faces of the competition, Herbalife himself, Darussafaka and Buducnost.
The Maccabi, with a win and five defeats, equals with the Gran Canaria table. Despite having a staff with top players like Scottie Wilbekin, the Eurocup MVP last season among others. It is also true that physical problems have affected your workforce. Neither Wilbekin has escaped. Now recover Tarik Black, center with 220 games played in the NBA. By cons, his trainer Neven Spahija can not count on Jeremy Pargo.
The Israeli square is presented today in the Arena after three consecutive defeats, by the four that the Granca takes. The only victory that the Hebrews have added so far was achieved in his visit to the track of the Montenegrin Buducnost. With all this data, the meeting becomes crucial for the contenders, since both seek to clear doubts and dispel fears.