Maccabi Tel Aviv will be looking to extend its winning streak in Euroleague play when it takes on Cibona in Zagreb tonight.
After a poor start to the season, the back-to-back champions have won three straight, but coach Pini Gershon warns that Maccabi faces a tough task. "In this group, anything can happen, and Cibona is a team that has to be taken seriously," Gershon said. "It's a tough court in Zagreb; teams don't score a lot of points here, and it won't be easy."
Maccabi will be out to stop Cibona guard Scoonie Penn who scored 25 points in the last encounter between the teams at Yad Eliahu. Macabbi won that game 83-74 as Will Solomon and Jamie Arnold scored 20 each, but the teams knows it will have to shut out Penn if it wants to leave Zagreb with a win.
"We need to hold back Penn, stop his penetration to the basket, and play good team defense," said Maccabi guard Derrick Sharp, who warned that Cibona also has big men who can shoot from behind the arc.
One of those big men is Damir Markota, a 20-year-old small forward averaging 10 points a game on 65 percent shooting from the field. Markota is being watched by a number of NBA teams. Maccabi will also be keeping its eyes on Davor Kus, averaging 9.7 points, and and Bennett Davison, who averages 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds.