By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv canceled Thursday’s practice and will update the team status later today ahead of the scheduled game versus Panathinaikos OPAP in Athens. The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 fixture is currently slated to be held Friday.
The team coached by Greek tactician Giannis Sfairopoulos has remained idle since January 3 due to multiple players and members of the coaching staff testing positive for COVID-19. Apart from domestic competitions, the coronavirus spike has resulted in the suspension of Round 19 and 20 home games versus Bitci Baskonia and ALBA Berlin, respectively.
Multiple more games of Europe’s premier club continental competition have been suspended since Round 17. Zalgiris facing AX Armani Exchange Milan was the first game pushed back due to positive COVID-19 cases.
Round 18 features five games, Olympiacos vs. CSKA Moscow, Olimpia Milano vs. Alba Berlin, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne vs. FC Bayern Munich, Panathinaikos OPAP vs. Zalgiris, and Fenerbahce Beko vs. Real Madrid, suspended.
All nine Round 19 fixtures were suspended before action resumed in Round 20 with four out of the nine games being held according to the initial schedule over the top end of the double-game week. Apart from Maccabi’s game, Zenit Saint Petersburg vs. ASVEL, AS Monaco vs. UNICS Kazan, Crvena Zvezda mts vs. Real, and Baskonia vs. Anadolu Efes were not played.
Round 21’s Olympiacos vs. Zenit, Fenerbahce vs. Alba, Zalgiris vs. Crvena Zvezda, and Milan vs. UNICS pushed back raised the total of suspended games to 25. Six fixtures have been since rescheduled as involved teams hope to recover from the positive COVID-19 tests and get the 2021-22 campaign back on track.
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