1) Israel faces Georgia in Tbilisi today, Monday at 17:00 Israel time as the Blue & White continue their FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign. The two side’s played each other in September in Tel Aviv as Georgia defeated Oded Katash’s team 85-80 but will be without both Tornike Shengalia and Matt Janning who were not released by Baskonia for this window of games. Last Friday, Israel picked up an important win over Serbia 83-74 at home. For the full game recap Click Here.
Israel Basketball Head Coach Oded Katash spoke ahead of today’s game, “There’s a good feeling as the National Team is playing well and there is positive energy. We are going to face a team with excellent shooters at the highest levels and they know how to combine their bigs and post ups, it will be very tough. We will have to switch defenses, deal with the post which will be a difficult test.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Jake Cohen also spoke about the National Team’s game against Georgia, “You’re going to face tough players every game in a short period of time, I’m looking forward to it but it will be a team effort. No one does anteing on the court themselves, it takes 5 guys.” More about Georgia and improving, “They are good team with a lot of different weapons, I think we are getting better each day and that’s why it’s so much fun and we have a lot of young guys that continue to improve and you can see that from day to day.”
2) On Sunday, the Israel National Football Team was drawn into a 6-team group in Euro 2020 qualifying which will include Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Macedonia and Latvia. Head Coach Andi Herzog himself an Austrian will face his country of birth in what will be a pair of interesting matches to say the least. Striker Robert Lewandowski of Poland is the star of the group while Slovenia features Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak and Austria features Bayeh Munich defender David Alaba.
Captain Bibras Natcho commented on the draw, “It’s not a simple group that features a pair of strong national teams in Poland and Austria. Slovenia isn’t a simple challenge and Macedonia we are familiar with from the last campaign and no one should think that Lativa is a weak national team. This will be an interesting group because many teams are very even. We will try to advance and it’s possible.”
Eran Zahavi also summed up the draw, “This is a draw that gives us a legitimate chance to reach our potential. There isn’t one match that is hopeless but there also isn’t one that you can say is easy. We have to continue to play like we did in the Nations League where I felt there was a real change our national team. Our home matches must be a football celebration and if the fans cheer us on then Euro 2020 is a possibility for us.”