The Israel Under-20 team dropped Turkey 86-70 to open up the European Championships on the right foot. Head coach Elad Hasin’s team scored at will with five players in double digits but it was Noam Yaacov who orchestrated the offense to perfection over a Turkish squad that finished in 3rd place at the World Championships last week after beating the United States to capture the bronze medal.
The young blue-and-white opened up well as Noam Yaacov worked his magic going to the hoop while finding the one man, Danny Wolf put his Yale education to good work with his graceful and forceful moves while Ron Zipper found points from deep as he started to heat up to give Elad Hasin’s squad a 45-32 lead at halftime. Zipper continued to hit his shot from beyond the arc while Ariel Isaak and Yaacov also found points as Yuval Levin scored down the stretch to notch the 16-point win.
Israel plays Italy at 4pm on Sunday in their second group game of the tournament and will play Belgium on Monday at 9pm to round out the first phase of the competition. Noam Yaacov led the way with 12 points and dished out 14 assists, Ron Zipper scored 20 points, Danny Wolf added 16 points, Ariel Isaak scored 13 points and Yuval Levin ended his night with 11 points in the win.
“This was a good game against an excellent team,” Hasin said following the victory. “But we have to out this game behind us and focus on our next game against Italy. This is part of the dynamics of the European Championships.”