Euroleague: Greens to have fruitful returns in Tel Aviv
Look for the Greeks to pull off an upset win in a classic rivalry that sees the winner make second place their own
We head into the second half of the Euroleague competition this week after a short break, with many teams knowing where the rest of their campaign will lie.
Some are resigned to going out of the competition, some are almost guaranteed to be progressing but all will be trying to get themselves into a good run of form before the knockout rounds begin.
It was all looking so rosy for the champions Maccabi Tel Aviv as they hosted ALBA Berlin last time out.
On a five-game winning streak, many expected them to wipe the floor with the Germans at home but instead they stumbled to a poor defeat, one that's opened the door for Panathinaikos Athens to jump ahead of them as they face off in Round 8 of the Top 16 stage of the Euroleague championship.
The Greens pulled off a solid win in Belgrade, despite a spirited comeback from the Serbians and look to continue that form heading to Israel on Thursday.
Their defence has been solid, ranking third in both points allowed and steals over the Top 16 stage and that stern opposition will be enough to halt Maccabi at home. They should just edge out the champs as Panathinaikos can generate enough offence themselves to be a threat.
Earlier on Thursday night sees top of the table Real Madrid take on Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, with the Spanish giants looking to extend their lead.
They've been dominant so far in Group E, with a 6-1 record whilst leading the competition in assists, steals and they are second in scoring.
Belgrade, on the other hand, look to be heading out of the competition with a 1-6 record and although they've put in some fighting displays, they've not been able to get over the line and it's cost them dearly.
Their defence isn't bad but their offence isn't good enough and they'll fall heavily to the might of Los Blancos.
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