Basketball’s back in business

Under the new agreement, every team will be required to play with two Israelis at all times.

BSL teams  (photo credit: Oded Karni)
BSL teams
(photo credit: Oded Karni)
The BSL season is set to resume next week after the owners and the Israeli players’ union reached an agreement to end the strike early Wednesday morning.
Representatives from both sides met until the early hours of the morning before agreeing to a new five-year deal which is set to officially be ratified by the players’ union on Thursday and by the BSL’s directorate on Sunday.
Under the new agreement, every team will be allowed to register a maximum of five foreigners, but will be required to play with two Israelis at all times.
However, teams that will decide to sign no more than four foreign players will receive a NIS 250,000 bonus, with another NIS one million to be split between the league’s 12 sides based on the number of minutes played by their Israelis.
Teams will also be compelled to have at least two Israeli players under the age of 22 and another under the age of 25 on their rosters.
Week 22 of the BSL’s regular season action, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 24, will now be played next Wednesday and Thursday, assuming the agreement is approved by all parties.
”Better late than never,” said BSL chairman Shmuel Frenkel.
“This agreement is good for Israeli basketball, the owners and the players.
The damage from the strike isn’t too severe because we ended it quite quickly.”
Union chairman Nir Alon insisted that the strike was a success, even though the Israeli players didn’t get their wish to limit teams to no more than four foreigners.
“The stand we took was well worth it,” Alon said. “We went through a tough time but we will rebuild the trust with the fans.”