“Our chemistry is crazy” Netanel Artzi explains the secret to Gilboa’s early success. 3-Pointers: Analysis wrapping up Gilboa’s win over Holon!

1) Hapoel Gilboa Galil is 4-0. Yes you read right 4-0 so far this young season. It was clear from the get go that Lior Lubin’s squad was good, actually very good with a mix of high quality foreign players along with solid young Israelis who all have passion and fight on the court for the entire 40 minutes of every game. One of Lubin’s players who took the bull by the horns from the get against Holon was Netanel Artzi who scored 16 for half points and equalled his career high of 21 for the game. Artzi slashed to the bucket, took confident shots and look like the complete player that we knew he could be. The 23-year old averaged just 6.6 points per game last season and this campaign he’s doubled that average chalking up 13.8 points while noting double digits in the last three games. If Artzi can continue this clip he will definitely take the jump that has been expected of him which will be great for not only his club but Israeli basketball as a whole, “This game was a lot of fun and I’m happy that we won. As for hitting my career high in points, I only realized at the end of the game. The points don’t interest me as much, but won’t lie that I am happy that I am improving and advancing.” Lior Lubin wasn’t so interested in the points that Arzti put up he explained, “I want to see how hard the guys work and ow much they invest. For me the points aren’t that relevant.”


2) Nonetheless, Lubin’s got to be thrilled with how Artzi has played so far as well as the team to be undefeated after four contests. Anyone who has followed Israeli basketball closely isn’t surprised as to how the team has played and their current record. Gilboa has been one of the exciting teams that just plays great hoops that is attractive and fun to watch. “It’s just the start and we have to continue this way,” Artzi said. “To be able to keep going this way is what is important and we can’t take our foot off of the gas. There will be losses and we have to learn from them. While we dolt want to lose that’s part of the game and part of our education.” Lubin was very calm ad level headed when asked about the 4-0 record, “We believe that we can win before every game and we are happy that we are winning but we are really looking at the entire journey and as to how we are playing. We played against a high quality team in Holon.”


3) It’s clear that Lubin and Holon are keen on making sure that this season will be just as or even more successful that last campaign when they advanced to the Final Four. In order to do that Gilboa had to construct a roster that could compete with the entire league and did just that with a variety of new imports in Kerry Blackshear, Isaiah Cousins and Jehyve Floyd to go with a late last season holdover in Joe Thomasson plus Israelis Yotam Hanaochi, Amit Gershon, Gil Beni and of course Iftach Ziv who is arguably the best Israeli born player in the league. “I have to say that I love Iftach and he’s a great friend,” said Artzi. “We have been playing together for many years and we live next to each other having been with each other at Maccabi Haifa. You can see how he has improved and I am learning from him as well. He is a top level player and you can see that on the court.” Lubin didn’t want to say too much about Ziv, “You (the media) can give out the grades. But he was great last year and we are thrilled that he stayed with us and is continuing to advance.” As for one of the club’s last additions in Jehyve Floyd who joined after Patric Young went back to the US, it was a match made in heaven said Lubin, “He is really perfect for us and we always believe in any player that joins the team. The way he has been able to come into the team seamlessly is the key to his success and we are very happy.” Artzi agreed, “Our chemistry is crazy. I am so happy that we are all in this together and one looks out for the other.”

Stefanos Dedas – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Over on the Holon side the floor, the injuries are beginning to pile up as Rich Howell couldn’t go and Willy Workman looks to have injured his foot/ankle just 15 seconds into the game. With two senior players down and only 7 left to play Coach Dedas knew he was in trouble especially with a crucial Champions League game this week on Tuesday against Minsk. However, that didn’t stop him from trying to win the game as three players were on the court for over 34 minutes and Holon came oh so close as Tyrus McGee and Frederic Bourdillon scored in bundles but it just wasn’t enough as they fell to their second straight league loss. “I don’t want to look for excuses and I am proud and to how we played,” said Coach Stefanos Dedas after the game. “Gilboa had some luck with their tough shots and despite playing a poor second quarter we played a good second half. We have a lot of games and if we beat Minsk then everyone will forget this game.” Dedas also had some choice words for the referees who he felt aren’t giving Holon any breaks, “The refs didn’t respect us and everyone saw, but I don’t want to cry for this. It was a low level refereeing. Last week was also amazing but I can’t fix the referees and I would like more respect and we deserve respect. If they think they made a great job and they can sleep comfortable it’s ok. But they will not watch the game, I will watch the game I will see that this guy, this guy and this guy didn’t give me one call.”

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