Hapoel Eilat held a press conference to look ahead at the resumption of the Israel Basketball League’s resumption later in June. Coach Arik Alfasi, Captain Avi Ben Chimol and Chairman Tal Pinchas.
Arik Alfasi began by talking about returning to the hardwood, “It’s exciting to get back. When we broke up in March I really didn’t think we would be returning to play but I am happy that we are and I love being on the court. We have an almost brand new team and the goal is to build a basis for next season. Jonathan Skjoldebrand is in Spain and he is injured but will be back next year and we have options on two of the players.”
“I am sure that Avi Ben Chimol and Rafi Menco will be huge assets for us with their experience. The import players and Ben Carter began to practice themselves just like Maccabi Tel Aviv. I want to acknowledge the players that came from the United States as well as the Israelis and hopefully the league will go off as planned. We are one of the few leagues that will play and the only in July so many eyes will be upon Israel. We will improve over time and this is a big challenge for us and there is a lot of hungry players especially the younger ones.”
Captain Avi Ben Chimol shared his feelings on getting back to business, “As a player it’s not easy to come back quickly and we are concerned about getting into shape. You have to remember we haven’t played in a while and no one wants tor risk themselves and get hurt.”
The veteran guard also spoke about being in quarantine throughout the balance of the campaign, “The isolation is very difficult and I have three children at home so it’s almost impossible. We just spoke to Professor Grotto as we were looking for answers to basic questions. There is a huge mental issue here that can have more of an impact than people think. There’s also the physical side too but there are a lot of issues.”
Chairman Tal Pinchas discussed the situation as well, “We have to thank everyone who had a part in bringing basketball back and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep to the protocols which isn’t simple for the players. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility.”