Amar’e Stoudemire 370.
(photo credit: Sammy Hudes)
Israel’s open male basketball team advanced to the Maccabiah semifinals by
defeating Canada 110-75 on Friday.
With the victory, Israel closed out
the preliminary round with a 3-1 record, as the squad qualified for the last
semifinal spot in the group over third place Greece (2- 2).
rebounded from their narrow loss the previous day against France (4-0) by a
score of 69-67.
Head coach Sharon Drucker said he was impressed with his
team’s effort in the victory.
“We acted very well after the loss of
yesterday,” Drucker said.
“We came here today to go to final four, the
semifinal, and we did a very good job. I think our young guys, every minute,
every game for them is a gift.
Now we have to try two more games to be
better and to be the best and I hope we can do a good job.”
forward Or Solomon, who finished the game with 17 points including three
high-powered dunks, said energy was the difference for the team against
Israel, which finished second in Group B, will now face the
United States, which finished first in Group A, on Sunday.
the team will have to quickly regroup in order to be ready.
two days to learn them but from what I heard [they’re] a really strong team,
they’ve got really good college players,” he said. “We need to [find] the same
energy [from] today and get it started in the semifinal.”
were led in scoring by Tomer Girat, who had 18 points in the match, while
Canadian Morgan Tajfel picked up a game-high 24 points.
Tajfel felt the
Israeli team’s familiarity with one another played a factor in their success
“We worked hard, we played pretty well, I think they’ve
just got a lot of chemistry on their team,” Tajfel said.
great passers, they knew where to be in the right spots. It’s tough to keep up
with them for 40 minutes.”
The Canadians, who finished third in Group B
with a 1-3 record, will now move on to the consolation bracket to compete for
the fifth spot overall in the tournament.
Canada’s assistant coach and
NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire said that in order for the team be successful, they
must continue to focus on playing a more well-rounded game.
“We just got
to play hard,” Stoudemire said. “That’s the main goal for us, is to play hard
and just really focus on both ends of the court and have fun. If we do that we
have a great chance to win.”