Basketball: Israel drawn alongside Britain in EuroBasket

The blue-and-white will also face Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Czech Republic in Group D.

Halperin 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Halperin 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel's hopes of qualifying for a ninth straight European Championships were given a boost on Saturday when the national team was handed a relatively easy draw in its qualifying group. The blue-and-white will face Great Britain, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Czech Republic in Group D, with the top team in the group and the three best placed runners-up from the four qualifying groups advancing directly to the finals, which will take place in Poland from September 7th-20th, 2009. Israel, which only qualified for the last two EuroBasket tournaments via the additional qualifying tournament, will open its qualifying campaign against Great Britain on September 3 at the Nokia Arena. The team, which finished last year's EuroBasket championships in 11th position, will then go on the road to face Bosnia, the Czech Republic and Great Britain, before returning home for its last two qualifiers against Bosnia and the Czech Republic. Great Britain, who won promotion from FIBA's Division B last summer, is led by Sudan-born Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls. Britain failed, however, to add London-born Golden State Warriors player Kelena Azubuike to the team, after the player's request to receive a British passport was refused. The Czech's roster is led by, Jiri Welsch of Unicaja Malaga and Lubos Barton of Joventut Badalona. Bosnia has unfinished business with Israel, losing to the blue-and-white in the additional qualifying tournament playoff last summer. Also Saturday, Israel's women's team was drawn to face Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine and Great Britain in its qualifying group for the EuroBasket tournament.