The Israel National Team takes on Poland in EuroBasket qualifying action on Monday (17:30) at the Valencia bubble. The Blue & White come into the clash after a stunning 18-point comeback victory over Spain that saw Oded Katash’s squad move their record to 3-0 as they sit atop of Group A. A victory over Poland or a Romania loss to Spain will see Israel punch their ticket for the 2022 tournament.
Head Coach Oded Katash understands full well that Poland will be an entirely different story than Spain and he will need to prepare appropriately for the challenge, “It was a big win against Spain but the most important thing now is to put it behind us. This is a new game against a different team in Poland that played very well against Romania. They are aggressive and physical and we will need to use a bigger rotation due to the fatigue of some of the players. It won’t be simple.”
Israel defeated Poland in their first meeting back in February 2020 and Katash isn’t taking anything for granted this time around, “In Poland they took a lot of offensive rebounds and we had a bit of luck there to win that game. We will have a totally different game plan than the one we has against Spain because of the way that play and defend.”
Polish basketball has been on the upswing recently and will need to be respected explained guard Tamir Blatt who starred for Israel against Spain with 21 points and 9 assists, “Poland is an excellent team that did very well in the World Championship. They have a very good coach and excellent players. We will prepare as best as we can for them. We will need to follow our game plan, play aggressive and close out on the offensive rebounds.”
“Poland has become a much better team,” concurred Katash. “The fact that they advanced so far in the World Cup shows how well they are playing the game of basketball. We were excited to have defeated Spain but they also beat them. This will be a high tempo game with a lot of aggressiveness.”
Blatt had arguably his best game with Israel but the winning is above all for the Hapoel Jerusalem guard, I believe that this was my best performance with the national team. I really just want to win and we won an important game here. I feel that when I am enjoying myself I play better and that’s what I want to focus on as much as possible.”