1) Under-20 European Basketball Champions Israel arrived back in the Holy Land after winning the title last night in Germany over Croatia. The team was greeted at the airport by Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin along with Miri Regev Minister of Culture and Sport.
Head Coach Ariel Beit Halachmi spoke to the press following the team’s arrival, “This is a championship for many people, but above all it’s that of a great group of guys. They deserve it. We were just there on the side to support them. At the end of the day they wrote their life story. We told them that time comes and goes and what happened yesterday will be forgotten but what they accomplished will be remembered for years to come.”
Captain Gil Beni added, “I still can’t believe it. I want to thank all of the players who are like my brothers and the staff. I love you all.”
2) Hapoel Beer Sheva faces Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia on Tuesday at 21:00 Israel time in the first leg of second round Champions League qualifying. Head Coach Barak Bachar looked ahead to Tuesday night’s Champions League Second Round First Leg qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb, “The World Cup showed us how great the Croatia National team is and of course age Croatian league champions have some quality players. It will be an interesting match, very tough but we’ve done our preparation.”
Loai Taha added, “Dinamo Zagreb is a very strong club. We prepared for them and we learnt a lot about them from the professional staff. Croatian football has improved and they were amazing at the World Cup. We know how important this match is and we will be ready.
Zagreb’s Head Coach Nenad Bjelica added, “We hope to win and we are prepared. We know that Beer Sheva is a quality opponent who have played together for a while. I believe that our team is ready both physically and mentally.”
3) The Israeli representatives in Europe found out who their 3rd round opponents would be should they advance past the 2nd round.
Hapoel Beer Sheva FC will face the winner of Astana and FC Midtjylland should they advance against Dinamo Zagreb in Champions League Second Round Qualifying.
Maccabi Tel Aviv FC will play the winner of Tobol Kostanay (KAZ) v Pyunik (ARM) in the 3rd round of Europa League qualifying should they advance against Radniki Nis. The Serbian side won 3:1 in their league opener this past weekend.
Hapoel Haifa FC will face the winner of Atalanta and FK Sarajevo in the third round of Europa League qualifying if they advance against FH Hafnarfjordur. The Icelandic side lost 4:1 in league play this past weekend.
Quick Hits – Gidi Kanyuk rejoined Maccabi Petah Tikva…Austria Wien Israeli abroad Alon Turgeman scored the 2nd goal in a 4:0 win over Austria XIII in Cup action…Keeper Boris Kleyman signed with Enosis Neon Paralimni in Cyprus…Hapoel Tel Aviv drew 0:0 against Omonoia Nicosia in a preseason friendly…Central defender Dolev Azoulay signed with Maccabi Netanya FC…Myke Henry signed with Ironi Nahariya BC…Center Ram Elias-por signed with Hapoel Beer Sheva BC after playing last season for Hapoel Jerusalem…