Israel’s qualifying campaign continues in Slovakia

Israel visits Slovakia expecting to improve to 2-2 in Group A of EuroBasket 2013 qualification.

August 23, 2012 23:21
1 minute read.
Omri Casspi vs. estonia 370

Omri Casspi vs. estonia 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Israel visits Slovakia on Friday night expecting to improve to 2-2 in Group A of EuroBasket 2013 qualification ahead of next week’s make-or-break games at Nokia Arena.

The national team bounced back from its defeats to Montenegro and Estonia to start the campaign with a straight-forward 110-83 win over Iceland on Tuesday and should encounter even fewer problems at Slovakia, which is still looking for its first group win.

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However, the blue-and-white will also be aiming for a convincing performance on Friday night to further boost its confidence ahead of the crucial games against Serbia and Montenegro at Nokia Arena next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

The top two teams from the six qualifying groups and the four best third-placed teams will make up the 16 sides who will join Spain, France, Russia, FYR of Macedonia, Lithuania, Greece, Great Britain and the hosts Slovenia in EuroBasket 2013.

“Slovakia may not have won any games until now, but they are very dangerous at home,” said Israel coach Arik Shivek. “Regardless, we need to rebuild our confidence and we need this win for ourselves. We really want to return home with another win ahead of a critical week.”

Forward Lior Eliyahu echoed his coach’s sentiment. “We claimed a nice win in Iceland, but that was just one win,” Eliyahu said. “Clearly next week is the most important week of the campaign, but we first must win on Friday.”

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