19 years waiting and still Sherf must wait some more

Sadly Sunday's defeat to CSKA Moscow could well be Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Tzvika Sherf's last chance to claim the title he so desperately desires.

tzvika sherf 88 (photo credit: )
tzvika sherf 88
(photo credit: )
When Tzvika Sherf's Maccabi Tel Aviv was stunned 75-69 by Jugoplastika Split in the European final in 1989, the then 37-year-old Israeli coach surely thought that it wouldn't be too long before he would also become a European Champion. After all, he was guiding Maccabi in the final for the second time in three years and he was still very young by coaching standards. It would, however, be an arduous 19 years until Sherf reached European basketball's premier game once more this season and sadly Sunday's defeat to CSKA Moscow could have well been the coach's last chance to claim the title he so desperately desires. The Euroleague title has eluded Sherf throughout his sensational career. There's no doubt that even without lifting the prestigious title he's still one of Israel's all-time greats, but a win on Sunday would have been the crowning moment of his career, a moment which he may now never experience. There's no doubt that following his excellent work since replacing Oded Katash on January 1 Sherf is assured of a contract extension at Maccabi. But as Sherf can himself testify, there's no guarantee he will play in the Euroleague final next season, in the coming 10 seasons or even ever again. Sherf will obviously be hoping that in the final years of his career he will have another opportunity to become a European champion, but his face at the end of the game against CSKA revealed what he was feeling deep inside - Sunday could have sadly been his final chance to complete a perfect career.