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Not only Dino, Olimpia-Maccabi is a clash between two league-leading teams


It’s not just Dino Meneghin’s big night and the retirement of his legendary number 11 jersey. Tomorrow night’s game is also a clash between two of the six league-leading EuroLeague teams. Olimpia won six games in a row before losing to Moscow with Khimki, Maccabi won the last six, two of them on the road, in Athens against Olympiacos and last week in Vitoria burying the opponent under a 30-point margin. Maccabi has the EuroLeague second-best defense for points allowed and is first in the two-point shooting percentage. Olimpia is the best team at shooting threes, but also one of the best in defending against the three-point shot (it’s in fourth place).

OLIMPIA – Arturas Gudaitis and Amedeo Della Valle will not be available for this game. Olimpia practiced on Monday at its Mediolanum Forum home. Apart from the two ailing, the other 13 players are all available.

COACH ETTORE MESSINA – “Maccabi is a team coming here on a very high note, they rely on enormous physicality, hard to contain. At the same time, they have terrific offensive potential. For us, it’s going to be important the defensive aspect, but also a very disciplined offense that will keep them from running in the open court, their favorite situation. We want to be good in a special night dedicated to one our legendary players, Dino Meneghin”.

THE OPPONENT – Maccabi comes in Milan riding a six-game winning streak, but with no Omri Casspi, who was also absent in Vitoria, too. It is a team of great athleticism, with Tarik Black (67.6% from the field), Othello Hunter (68.0% from the field, 6.4 rebounds per game) and Quincy Acy (58.3% from two). The best scorer is the point-guard Scottie Wilbekin, in his second season in Tel Aviv after two years spent at Darussafaka, the second one closed with a Eurocup triumph. Wilbekin is scoring 15.6 points per game while shooting better than 48% from three. His back-up, John DiBartolomeo is converting 46.4% of his threes. Those two and Tony Dorsey (52.6%) are the best team shooters from the arc. On the perimeter there are also Nate Wolters, a EuroLeague veteran who played in Belgrade and Kaunas and is scoring over 10 points per game, and Elijah Bryant, who emerged last year in the Israeli league. Maccabi is also counting on three local players, the youngsters Yovel Zoosman and Deni Avdija and the stretch power forward Jake Cohen.

MISCELLANEA – Rodriguez has made at least one three-point shot in 14 of his last 15 games and has collected at least 1 steal in nine straight games…. Vladimir Micov has made at least 1 three-pointer in 10 straight games and has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10…. Michael Roll has made at least 1 three-pointer in six straight games… Rodriguez ranks seventh all-time with 396 three-pointers made. His former teammate, Rudy Fernandez of Real Madrid, is sixth with 413 and counting… Luis Scola ranks eighth all-time with 844 two-pointers made. Nikola Vujcic is seventh with 850… Scola also needs 6 offensive rebounds to reach 300 for his career.