GAL MEKEL (7) helped propel Israel to a 67-59 victory over Great Britain on Monday night to earn a spot in the seconnd round of World Cup qualifying..
(photo credit: FIBA EUROPE/ COURTESY)
After losing to the Greeks last Thursday in FIBA 2019 World Cup qualifying, the Israeli national team knew it had to beat Great Britain team on Monday night in Glasgow, which the blue-and-white managed to accomplish with a 67-59 road conquest.
Oded Katash’s squad wanted to reestablish its confidence and went a long way in doing so with the impressive performance.
Gal Mekel provided one of his best games in the blue-and-white uniform and finished with 20 points and five assists. Jake Cohen also stood out tonight with 14 points.
With the loss, Great Britain failed to move to the second qualifying stage, while Israel (3-3) will be placed in a group with Germany (6-0), Greece (6-0), Serbia (4-2), Georgia (2-4) and Estonia (2-4).
All teams will carry over their records to the next round, with the three highest-placed teams from each of the four groups qualifying for the World Cup in China.
Nimrod Levy, one of the younger Israeli players, was thrilled with Monday’s result.
“Great fun. A victory we really needed. We came, we fought and we did the work. I wanted to come in and contribute what I could and I feel good.”
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Cohen was especially pleased with the team’s character.
“It’s a great feeling... I’m glad we’ve taken the next step. It was not a perfect game, but we got the victory and that’s the most important thing. Both sides wanted to win, and we won in the end and it is proof of our character.”
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