1) The Israel National Basketball Team has announced their provisional 16 man roster for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Georgia at home on September 13 and at Germany on September 16. Itay Segev returns to the squad after being out injured as does Tomer Ginat. Egor Koulechov and Karam Mashour also made the cut and could make their debut for the senior side while John DiBartolomeo makes his first appearance with the team and will take up the naturalized citizen spot. Bar Timor, Guy Pnini, Golan Gutt, Tamir Blatt, Gal Mekel, Rafi Menco, Jake Cohen, Idan Zalmanson, Nimrod Levi, Yovel Zoosman and Ben Altit round out Head Coach Oded Katash’s squad.
2) Three Israeli football clubs will be in second leg third round Europa League qualifying action on Thursday. Vladimir Ivic, the Maccabi Tel Aviv Head Coach addressed the assembled media at the prematch press conference ahead of Thursday’s (20:30 Israel time) return leg (0:0) against Pyunik from Armenia at the Netanya Stadium in the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League, “Our target from the first day was to improve the team and up until now we have played 6 matches, 5 in Europe and one in the Toto Cup. After each match we look back, review and discuss things to see what needs to be improved and what needs to be continued. We didn’t do well with some of our chances and passing game last match and we tried to fix that over the past 7-8 days. I am positive and believe in my players that it will be ok tomorrow.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva will also look to advance to the Playoff Round of the Europa League when they visit APOEL in Cyprus after a 2:2 home draw. Head Coach Barak Bachar, “We understand that we are playing a quality team in first of their supporters. We will do everything we can to win. We have all of the tools and it’s possible. This match will be different as we know that we have to win. The game tomorrow is do or die.”
Hapoel Haifa will be at Atalanta in Italy for their second leg after falling in Israel 4:1 in the first leg. Head Coach Nir Klinger, “We have the opportunity to play a match at the level and we want to take advantage of the opportunity to gain experience for the club at this level.”
The Sports Rabbi welcomed Michael Roll of Maccabi Tel Aviv BC to talk about basketball and life. Kendall Kaut of the Our Daily Bears which covers Baylor Basketball also joined the program to discuss Hapoel Jerusalem’s signing of Jo Lual Acuil, Mike Jensen of Philly News looked at Holon’s JavVaughn Pinkston who played for Villanova and Nick Denning of At The Hive stopped by to talk about Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new forward Johnny O’Bryant III who played with Charlotte last season.
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