Israel gains momentum in Iceland for Eurobasket

Israel arrived in Slovakia on Wednesday in an upbeat mood after finally claiming its first win of EuroBasket 2013 qualification.

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August 23, 2012 00:40
1 minute read.
Lior Eliyahu

Lior Eliyahu 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

 
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Israel arrived in Slovakia on Wednesday in an upbeat mood after finally claiming its first win of EuroBasket 2013 qualification in Iceland the previous night.

The national team raced into a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and unlike in its previous games against Montenegro and Estonia, kept its foot on the gas in the second half to record a comfortable 110-83 win over the locals.

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Israel passed a total of 34 assists, more than in the defeats against Montenegro and Estonia combined, and its 110 points are equal to the team’s highest total over the past 15 years.

However, with all due respect to Iceland, Israel will have to overcome far tougher opponents if it is to recover from its 0-2 start to the campaign and make an 11th consecutive appearance at the European Championships.

Israel will be aiming to gain more confidence with another easy win at Group A’s weakest team Slovakia on Friday before turning its attention to next week’s crucial home encounters against group leaders Serbia and Montenegro.

“I won’t lie, we were under pressure ahead of the game against Iceland,” Israel coach Arik Shivek said. “What happened against Estonia was an accident and we also could have won at Montenegro. We had to win in Iceland and I’m happy with our team effort.

Casspi is a great player and wonderful guy, but everyone understood that we will only win if we play like a team and the number of assists shows we did that.”



Casspi scored 17 points for Israel, once more impressing from beyond the arc with four three-pointers without a miss, while Raviv Limonad also netted 17 for the blue-and-white.

“We needed this win to get back on track,” said Limonad. “We now must keep our foot on the gas until the end of the campaign.”

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