Israel ends WCQ campaign on high note with win over Slovenia

Feb 27, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Israel ended their World Cup Qualifying campaign on a high note with a 87-79 win at Slovenia. The blue-and-white got off to a slow start but Nimrod Levi, Noam Yaacov and Bar Timor all got busy to take the lead but Gregor Glas’s efforts helped the hosts get back in front by the end of the 3rd quarter. However, Nadav Zilberstein’s squad opened up the final frame with points a plenty by captain Tomer Ginat, Levi and Timor to rally the the team and take the 8-point victory.

Nimrod Levi – Photo Credit: FIBA

Levi led the way with 20 points, Yaacov came close to a triple-double with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while Timor scored 18 points and added 6 assists in the win. Glas paced Slovenia with 26 points and Aleksey Nikolic added 12 points in the loss.

Nadav Zilberstein – Photo Credit: FIBA

“We had a very disappointing campaign and lost so many close games,” Zilberstein began. “This game could have been a decisive game if we win but that is history. We wanted to end the campaign with a W. We played well other than the start of the first and third quarters. We played with national team spirit and togetherness as we stuck to the game plan while the players did more things for us to win. I want to congratulate the players and Slovenia as they head to the World Cup.”

Oz Blayzer – Photo Credit: FIBA

Oz Blayzer also spoke about the win, “I want to say it was a pleasure to come back to the national team, as I had been away for some time. When I step on the floor with the Israeli jersey I am so honored and proud, I wanted to make the right plays and support my teammates. There are no egos with the national team as Nadav said we had a great week and there was a lot of good energy.”

Idan Zalmanson – Photo Credit: FIBA

Slovenia came out strong and grabbed an 11-2 lead, but Nimrod Levi with a pair from deep, Idan Zalmanson with points inside and Noam Yaacov with a 3-point play and 4-point play helped Israel to a 13-0 run to hand the blue-and-white a 22-16 lead after ten minutes of play.

Gregor Glas – Photo Credit: FIBA

Gregor Glas, Ziga Samar and Aleksej Nikolic put in points to retake the lead at the start of the second quarter but Oz Blayzer from the inside and outside, Zalmanson and Levi all contributed to sending Nadav Zilberstein’s team into halftime with a 42-38 advantage.

Tomer Ginat – Photo Credit: FIBA

The hosts came out of the break raring to go as Glas scored 14 points in the third quarter and Urban Klavzar also scored while Tomer Ginat and Bar Timor countered for Israel but Slovenia took a 63-55 lead after thirty minutes of action.

Bar Timor – Photo Credit: FIBA

Ginat, Yaacov, Levi and Timor scored at will to begin the fourth quarter and go back in front for good as Blayzer put down a dunk to put the exclamation mark on the win for the blue-and-white.

Sign up for our newsletter


You may also like…


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!