Israel’s preparations for next month’s EuroBasket tournament continued to falter
on Saturday after the national team dropped to its third defeat in four warm-up
games, losing 75-72 to Poland in Antwerp, Belgium.
Poland was the only
team the blue-and-white managed to defeat in last weekend’s Trentino Cup in
Italy, but Arik Shivek’s men failed to do so once more on Saturday, missing
several opportunities to snatch a moral-boosting victory in the closing
Omri Casspi led Israel with 24 points, but he squandered a
chance to put the blue-and-white in front when he missed a mid-range jumper with
23 seconds to play, before also failing to sink a three-pointer at the buzzer
that would have sent the game to overtime.
Lior Eliyahu added 18 points
for Israel, which is playing in Belgium without the injured Alex
The national team will be hoping to bounce back versus Italy on
Sunday before facing Belgium in its final game of the tournament on
"We had some excellent minutes, especially in the first two
quarters,” said Shivek.
“We suffered from a significant drop on the
defensive end towards the end of the third quarter and we made bad decisions in
the final minutes.”
Israel will return home later this week and will face
Georgia twice (August 26 and 28) in its final tune-up games before leaving for
the European Championships 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.
The top three
teams from each group will progress to the second round.
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: Israel vs Italy friendly (live on Sport5+ at 6:55 p.m.)
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