Nahariya held a press conference Sunday afternoon just as the Winner League is about to resume the 2019/20 season on June 20th. Chairman Nissim Alfasi, Head Coach Danny Franco and Captain Tony Gaffney all took part in the proceedings.
Nissim Alfasi spoke about getting back to the hardwood, “I believe that on June 20th the team will be ready to go. We’re all looking forward to the continuation of the league and I want to wish good luck to everyone.
Alfasi also addressed the importance for all of the clubs to get ready for the campaign, “I believe that from the first moment we decided to come back that obligated all of us to play and resume the league. I believe that the voices we hear against the resumption of the league will quiet down or perhaps those will leave and the league will continue without them.”
The Chairman spoke about the potential of playing in Europe next season, “There are still so many open questions and we will have to see what will be if we can play in Europe. There are financial issues that need to be dealt with and then we can see where we stand.”
Head Coach Danny Franco looked at what type of challenge he has ahead of him with getting the players into playing shape, “I have to see the players on the court first to see what type of shape they are in. In Ivan’s case I will have to wait until he joins us. The players in the US did the best that they could under the circumstances. There’s a feeling that we are beginning the season from the start.”
The bench boss also discussed what his new recruit small forward Ivan Almeida brings to the table, “I knew I had to bring a high quality player as we lost Jerel who was our best defensive player and our main offensive play through. It’s not easy to find a player that can handle the game the way Jerel can, but I looked to bring the best player that I could. Ivan is a bigger player and can play a number of positions and I’m happy that we have him. He brings certain elements to the game that we didn’t have to date.”
On the cancellation of the exhibition game with Maccabi Tel Aviv, “The situation wasn’t good for both teams. We had some chances to play this week but it’s a bit too risky and too soon. We have to be careful from over motivation. We want to get Ivan on the court and next week will be a better situation. I’m sure we will find a team and if not we will be just fine going into the league.”
Finally Tony Gaffney talked about the resumption of the current campaign, “This is kind of an unprecedented time but we are all in it. Everyone has been waiting for the game to get back and bring back some normalcy. I was happy and I just want to play basketball. I just want to win. In a two month season anything can happen. Luckily for us most of the guys are back. We’ll miss Jerel but we brought in a high quality guy and we’re excited about the potential about the next two months.”
The captain also spoke about his quarantine conditions, “Things are ok and could be a lot worse. I haver to thank the team that I am in a very nice house and I have zero complaints.”
“We can make it to the Final Four. It’s the only reason I’m here. I care about one thing and one thing only, winning. Every single game is a must win and we are a bunch of dogs that will attack it that way. We are looking forward to it.”