Every Spanish team is a challenge: Amit Sherf & Holon ready for Murcia and the BCL Round of 16

Jan 22, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon begins the Round of 16 group stages of the Basketball Champions League on Tuesday night when they visit Murcia in Spain on Tuesday at 21:30 Israel time. This will be the first of six second round games as the purples will also face AEK Athens and Promitheas Patras playing each team twice both on the road and at home which is temporarily in Hungary due to the ongoing war with Hamas and Hezbollah.

Murcia will no doubt present some issues for Amit Sherf’s crew as the ACB squad recently defeated powerhouse Real Madrid but fell to Gran Canaria this past week. Sito Alonso’s team is led by veteran guard Dylan Ennis while Rodions Kurucs, Howard Sant-Roos and former Holon guard Troy Caupain are all dangerous.

Sherf knows that this will be a big challenge for him as he continues in his debut season as a head coach but also is aware that he also has the tools to be able to compete.

The Sports Rabbi spoke to Sherf immediately after the most recent league loss to Bnei Herzliya on Saturday night and right before the club left on a two day journey to their destination which included stops in Berlin and Barcelona due to the lack of flights.

“Murcia will be a different game totally as they are a totally different magnitude and size,” Sherf began. “They will take shots later on the shot clock and they will also be more accurate as well. We will need to prepare well for this game and come in with a different mentality as they are a deep team and we have to keep the turnovers to a minimum.”

ACB teams pose problems for any club around the continent due to the quality of the domestic league with four franchises in the Euroleague plus many others who are competing in the various European leagues.

“Every Spanish team is a challenge and every aspect of our game we will have to make it tough for them. They are a great team.”

The other two teams that are in Holon’s group are both Greek and there is also a February break that will see the 6 game slate split up, “There is a break between games but the three games in a row now will be tough. All of the opponents are tough and very different from one another. AEK has a lot of abilities with a Spanish coach in Joan Plaza and Promitheas will also be very tricky. We will be facing different style teams.”

“The Top 16 will be a challenge, but we know that we deserve to be here and we will do everything to surprise Murcia and win the first game.”

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