EuroBasket 2017 coming to Israel.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel will host one of its biggest ever sporting events after being selected on Saturday as a co-host of EuroBasket 2017, securing its progress to the European Championships for a 13th consecutive time.
Tel Aviv’s Yad Eliyahu Arena will host a Group Phase group between August 31 and September 5, 2017, with six teams, including Israel, to battle for four places in the knockout rounds.
FIBA made the announcement in a ceremony in Munich, Germany on Saturday afternoon, with Finland, Romania and Turkey also being named as hosts.
For the first time in the history of the competition, EuroBasket 2015 was hosted by multiple countries and the FIBA Europe Board opted to follow the same path for the 2017 edition of Europe’s premier basketball competition.
Turkey will host a Group Phase group, as well as the Final Phase, with games to take place at Abdi Ipekci Arena and Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul. Finland last hosted a EuroBasket in 1967. Like Israel, Romania will also be hosting the event for the first time.
“This is a very important day for Israeli basketball and I’m happy to be part of this history,” said Israel coach Erez Edelstein.
As a host, Israel will not need to qualify next summer, allowing Edelstein to begin his preparations for the tournament a year in advance.
“We will be able to give the young generation of players a chance to gather international experience without having the pressure of trying to qualify for the European Championships,” he explained. “Ultimately, our goal is to reach the summer of 2017 in the best possible position.”
IBA chairman Amiram Halevy said he hopes it will be the first of many basketball events to be hosted in Israel. “This is a big and important day for Israeli basketball,” he noted. “We waited for this day for a long time and worked very hard to get to it.
We intend on hosting a model championships, which will not be forgotten in Europe, and that will make them want to return many times in the future.”
In other Israeli basketball news, Maccabi Rishon Lezion moved level with Hapoel Jerusalem at the top of the BSL standings on Saturday night, improving to 8-2 with an 81-71 win at Ironi Nahariya. Chris Wright scored 21 points for Rishon, which clinched the victory with a 22-4 run to open a 20-point gap (79- 59). Richard Howell scored 20 points for Nahariya, which fell to 6-5.
On Sunday, Hapoel Jerusalem visits Bnei Herzliya, Maccabi Kiryat Gat hosts Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Eilat welcomes Ironi Ness Ziona.
On Monday, Maccabi Ashdod visits Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv, which can still progress to the Euroleague Top 16 after Darussafaka (4-5) was thrashed 94-66 at CSKA Moscow (8-1) on Friday.
The yellow-and-blue will need to beat Darussafaka in Turkey on Thursday by at least 11 points in order to advance.