Israel gathered some muchneeded confidence on Sunday night, snapping a
three-game losing streak with a 78-74 victory over Italy in Antwerp, Belgium, in
its latest warm-up game ahead of next month’s EuroBasket tournament.
national team dropped to its third defeat in four tune-up encounters on
Saturday, losing 75-72 to Poland after squandering a 14-point
The blue-and-white also held a 14-point lead over Italy in the
fourth quarter on Sunday, before collapsing in what is becoming characteristic
fashion late in the game, almost gifting Italy the win.
losing 67-64 to the Italians last week, Israel got the victory it was so
desperate for on Sunday, with Omri Casspi leading the team yet again with 17
Yotam Halperin added 13 points and Lior Eliyahu scored 11 for
Israel, which is playing in Belgium without injured starting center Alex
“We finally won a tight game and that was important, even though it
was our fault that it became tight,” said Israel coach Arik Shivek.
played really well defensively in the second half. There is still plenty
of room for improvement, but that is the case with all the teams which are
preparing for the European Championships. Everyone is trying different
lineups and making sure the players don’t get too tired.”
team faces Belgium, which thrashed Italy 76-57 on Saturday, in its final game of
the tournament in Antwerp on Monday. The squad will visit Yad Vashem on
Wednesday before playing Georgia twice (August 26 and 28) in its final tune-up
games ahead of the EuroBasket tournament in Slovenia.
Israel will face
France, the runners-up from 2011, as well as Germany, Great Britain, Belgium and
Ukraine in EuroBasket Group A, which will be played in Ljubljana.
three teams from each group will progress to the second round.
national team opens its campaign against Great Britain on September 4, before
facing Ukraine (September 5), France (September 6), Belgium (September 8) and
Germany (September 9).On TV:
Belgium vs Israel (live on Sport5 at 9:30 p.m.)
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