Israel Basketball preps for World Cup Qualifiers, Maccabi Tel Aviv eliminated from Europa League play

1) The Israel National Basketball Team held a press conference today ahead of their FIBA World Cup Qualifiers against Georgia in Israel and on the road against Germany. Head Coach Oded Katash spoke about the upcoming contests, “The FIBA format is very challenging. I have to admit from window to window we are getting smarter and learning more. The Israel National Team is dynamic unlike a regular team and squad. We learnt that we need to figure out at the beginning of the campaign which players we are going to play with. Little by little we are gaining more experience.”

Captain Gal Mekel also addressed the assembled media saying tongue in cheek that, “I chose not to sign with a team in order to focus on the National Team,” and added, “We will try to do our best and we ended last window with a good taste in our mouths. It will be easier now for us to get into the swing of things as we have been together for the most part throughout the year.”

Dov Halickman Photography

2) Maccabi Tel Aviv FC eliminated from Europa League play. The Yellow & Blue came away with a 2:1 win in the return leg of the Europa League Playoff Round thanks to goals by Itay Shechter (penalty) and a 20 meter blast by Eliran Atar. However, it would not be enough to see Maccabi through to the Group Stages as Ole Jørgen Halvorsen’s penalty would give Sarpsborg a 3:4 aggregate win after a 3:1 victory in the first leg in Norway. Maccabi will now turn their sights on the Israel Premier League as they head to Hapoel Beer Sheva this Sunday, 21:00 on Matchday 2.

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