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
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.
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.
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.”