Both sides calling the bluffs as BSL strike drags on

The league insisted throughout Friday and Saturday that the games will go ahead as planned.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Yogev Ohayon 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Yogev Ohayon 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
The BSL and the Israeli players union remain deadlocked after Saturday night’s games were all postponed once more due to the ongoing strike by the local players.
The league insisted throughout Friday and Saturday that the games will go ahead as planned and teams were told to arrive at arenas with their full rosters.
However, apart from Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Eilat’s Israeli players and a handful of locals from other teams, only the foreigners actually showed up.
The BSL ended up canceling one game at a time and subsequently also called off the encounters originally scheduled for this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.
The league’s directorate will convene on Tuesday to determine its next course of action, with the BSL threatening last week that it would cancel the rest of the 2012/13 season should the players refuse to end their strike by the weekend.
The players union announced a strike after claiming the league is unwilling to downscale the number of foreign players allowed both on each roster and on the floor at any given time during a game.
At the start of this season, each team was permitted to choose to register either four or six foreign players to a game.
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil were the only two teams which decided to register six foreigners and, in doing so, committed to have at least two Israeli players on the floor at any given point in a game.
After meeting with player representatives nine days ago, the BSL announced that it had made its final offer, labeling it as a “revolutionary” plan to promote the local player.
The league offered that every team will be required to play with two Israelis at all times and will only be allowed to register a maximum of five foreigners.
The BSL also said that it will compel all teams to have at least three Israeli players under the age of 22 on their rosters, with the agreement to be enforced over the next five seasons.
However, the players union is demanding that teams will only be allowed to register four foreigners to a game over the next three years, and just three non-Israeli players in the two years after that.
Enormous game on tap for Mac TA in Barcelona
Meanwhile, Friday’s results in Euroleague Top 16 Group F complicated Maccabi Tel Aviv’s situation ahead of its final group game at Barcelona on Thursday.
Maccabi still has its fate in its own hands entering the showdown in Catalonia after winning its sixth straight game last Thursday, thrashing Besiktas JK 101-58 to improve to 8-5.
However, following Caja Laboral Vitoria’s surprise 86-82 win at Khimki Moscow on Friday combined with Olympiacos’s triumph over Fenerbahce Ulker and Barca’s win at Montepaschi Siena, Maccabi could find itself missing out on the quarterfinal playoffs should it lose in Spain and other results in the group conspire against it.
A Maccabi win against Barcelona will not only ensure it progresses, but will also guarantee the team a second-place finish in Group F and home court advantage in the best-of five quarterfinals.
However, a defeat combined with an Olympiacos home loss to Khimki by less than 12 points and a Vitoria home win over slumping Siena will result in the yellow-and-blue dropping all the way down to fifth place.
Any other combination of results will see the yellow-and blue qualify from third or fourth place.