Israel began its preparations for this summer’s EuroBasket tournament on
Wednesday, holding its first training session in Tel Aviv ahead of the start of
the European Championships in Lithuania on August 31.
Only two of the
preliminary 17-man roster called up by coach Arik Shivek missed Wednesday’s
fitness workout, with David Blu being given permission to extend his holiday and
join the team on August 8 and Yaniv Green still recovering from
“It is good to be back training with the team and to see all the
guys again,” Cleveland Cavalier Omri Casspi said.
“We have been placed in
a tough group and we will have to win our games through defense.
play only offense we will not be able to stop Serbia, France, Italy or even
Israel will face Germany in its Group B opener on August 31
before playing Latvia the following day. It will then play Serbia on September 2
and France two days later before wrapping up its group games against Italy on
Only the top three teams in each group will advance to the
Yotam Halperin, who due to income tax issues is currently
looking for a new team in Europe despite agreeing to a three-year deal with
Maccabi Tel Aviv last month, is confident Israel can overcome its lack of big
“We have always had that problem, but we have also managed to turn
that disadvantage into an advantage and we hope to do that once more this
summer,” said Halperin.