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Omri Casspi will captain Israel at EuroBasket 2017 later this summer, with the blue-and-white roster to hold its first training session today at the Drive-In Arena in Tel Aviv..(Photo by: ADI AVISHAI)
Edelstein gathers squad for EuroBasket training
The Israel national team begins its preparations for Euro- Basket 2017 when it holds its first training session of the summer at the Drive-In Arena in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Head coach Erez Edelstein called up a squad of 16 players for the team’s first training camp, dropping the injured Raviv Limonad and Rafi Menco, as well as the suspended Itay Segev and youngsters Tomer Ginat and Egor Koulechov.

Edelstein’s roster, which will have to be whittled down to 12 players ahead of the start of the European Championships, includes familiar names of the likes of Omri Casspi, Gal Mekel and Lior Eliyahu, as well as rising stars Karam Mashour and Oz Blayzer, and center Richard Howell, who will give the blue-andwhite a stronger presence under the baskets after receiving Israeli citizenship in April due to his marriage the previous summer.

Israel will face Italy, Lithuania, Germany, Georgia and Ukraine in Group B of EuroBasket 2017, with all the group games to take place at Yad Eliyahu Arena in Tel Aviv between August 31 and September 6.

Israel faces Italy in its opener on August 31 before playing Lithuania on September 2 and Germany the following day.

After a one-day break, the blueand- white faces Georgia and Ukraine on consecutive days to wrap up its group games.

Israel will be playing in the European Championships for a 13th consecutive occasion, a streak stretching back to 1993.

The blue-and-white is hoping to progress to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.

The top four teams from each of the four groups advance to the knockout rounds which will be played in Istanbul, Turkey between September 9 and 17.

Edelstein, Casspi and Halperin will speak in a press conference on Tuesday and will surely be asked about the absence of Segev. The Israel Basketball Association announced on Sunday that the Maccabi Tel Aviv center is suspended indefinitely from national team activity after refusing to train with the under- 23 blue-and-white squad.

Segev was unhappy with the insurance policy provided by the IBA, which claimed that all national team players are fully covered and that he shouldn’t have skipped training.

Gel Mekel will also be missing from Tuesday’s training session as he is in Spain for his medical with Gran Canaria after signing a deal with the Liga ACB club.

Israel will play 10 warm-up games ahead of the EuroBasket, beginning with two games in Romania against the local national team on July 28 and 30.
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