Holon begins BCL Play In vs Oostende, Hapoel Tel Aviv readies for Wolves

Jan 3, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

A pair of Israeli teams will be in continental action on Wednesday night when Hapoel Holon (21:00) opens up their Basketball Champions League Play In best of 3 series against Oostende and Hapoel Tel Aviv (19:30) welcomes Wolves in EuroCup play.

The Purples who hold home court advantage against the Belgians will play game one in Szombathely, Hungary due to their home away from home arena in Riga, Latvia is unavailable. Deondre Burns will make his debut for Amit Sherf’s tea, after the guard signed in place of Nick Johnson while captain Niv Misgav is still suffering from a groin injury and will not play.

Amit Sherf – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We are coming into the first game against Oostende in what is a very challenging series. One that will bring out the maximum from a team, especially during the season and with Israeli league games in the middle. Unfortunately, we don’t have our home arena and fans with us as they have been great in our domestic league games but we will do everything to continue in our European campaign to reach the Top-16.”

“Unfortunately, Niv Misgav is still injured, but we will have Deondre to help us in the back court. We will have to stay aggressive and smart, control the pace of the game and produce quick points on the transition which will be on of our advantages. This is the first game in a short best-of-three series that will open three very intense weeks of playing a game every three days and we will do everything to return home with the win.”

Bar Timor – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Hapoel Tel Aviv will welcome Wolves in a rescheduled Round 2 game which will create some issues for head coach Danny Franco as his newcomers Dez Wells and Will Cummings will be ineligible to play. With a number of injured players, the Reds will have a very short squad for the matchup which will include Captain Bar Timor, Idan Zalamanson, Gil Beni, Eyal Harel, Xavier Munford , Kyle Alexander and John Holland as the only regulars. However, Hapoel played the Lithuanian team just a few weeks ago and picked up a 89-80 win.

“We are continuing with the intense series of games on our schedule and are readying for Wednesday’s challenging clash,” Franco said. “Although we will once again have a short roster and will play without our new foreigners, as always I am sure that everyone will give their best and together we will do everything possible to come away with the victory.”

Xavier Munford – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Xavier Munford also spoke about the upcoming contest, “We are approaching the decisive stages of the regular season, in which every game is important and every victory can move us significantly forward. Everyone who steps on the floor with a red jersey will have to cover for those who will not play in order to continue the good season we are having so far.”

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