The Israel National Basketball Team opened up training camp for the upcoming World Cup qualifying game in FIBA action. Head Coach Oded Katash didn’t have a full complement of players at the first practice for the upcoming games against Greece at home (June 28 19:30) and Great Britain in Glasgow (July 2 21:30) as well as Friday’s exhibition game versus Ukraine in Beer Sheva.
Adam Ariel, Nimrod Levi, Gal Mekel, Iftach Ziv, Oz Blayzer, Bar Timor, Joaquin Szuchman, Idan Zalmanson, Avi Ben Chimol, Ben Altit, Rafi Menco and Golan Gutt were all present. Jake Cohen, Rich Howell, Alex Tyus, Guy Pnini and Tamir Blatt were given extended time off while Egor Nestrenko, Joe Alexander, Raviv Limonad, Shawn Dawson and Itay Segev were all unavailable die to injury. Tomer Ginat was released from the squad due to an injury.
Oded Katash spoke to the media during the session, “The league is behind us and now our head’s in the National Team. I told the players that the results in the last two windows put us in a serious situation for this one coming up and there are some difficult games. It’s a challenge that I hope we’ll be up to the task for. I can see from the players faces that they are very happy to be here and they are aware of the big responsibility. We have more time to prepare this time around but it’s never enough.”
Israel has two wins and two losses to date and in order to advance to the second round, the Blue & White needs to win one game or they can lose to Great Britain up to an 11 point difference.