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BOLOGNA, Italy - The bosses of Maccabi Tel Aviv are set to sign a deal this week which will see the club join a new competition known as the Adriatic League.

Assistant coach Charles Barton confirmed yesterday that Maccabi was about to take on another challenge from next season. "If there are no last-minute hitches, Maccabi will play in another European competition next season," he said.

There will not be any extra expense in joining the Adriatic League as Maccabi will be reimbursed for the travel and in the event of its winning the competition, it can expect to make a profit, too.

Joining the league, however, will put an extra strain on the players and the coaching staff as it will mean three games a week for the perennial league champions. The club could face up to two flights a week to different destinations and will need to bolster its roster to take the strain.

Although there have not been any firm decisions regarding the inclusion of foreigners in the league next season, the new situation may prompt Maccabi to ask to be allowed to register another player.

Barton also said yesterday that there was a good chance that young Danish player Christian Dryer would join Maccabi unless he is chosen in the first round of the NBA draft.

Another player who could join the revamped team is guard Mervyn Booker of Scavolini Pesaro. His arrival appears to be dependent on an improvement in the local security situation in the region.

Following Maccabi's loss in the Final Four on Friday, the team stayed on to watch the final last night between Kinder Bologna and Panathinaikos.