Int'l Hoops: Israel readying for London warm-up tournament

"I have a dream of playing at the Olympics in London, but that is still very far away," says captain Tal Burstein.

tal burstein 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
tal burstein 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Israel will face Turkey in its first game of the 'Game On At The O2' tournament in London on Friday as the national team's preparations for next month's EuroBasket gain pace. Tzvika Sherf's side, which arrived in the English capital on Thursday, will face Poland on Saturday before coming up against host Great Britain on Sunday, playing a total of three games in as many days at the O2 Arena, just like it will in the European Championships in Poland, which begin on September 7. "We want to take another step forward in our preparations for the European Championships and hopefully learn a little more about where we currently stand," said Sherf. "We are not thinking of our EuroBasket opener against Croatia yet, but we have already gotten an indication of their strength. The arena in London is amazing, but I'm focusing on the first stage of the European Championships and not thinking about the 2012 London Olympics just yet." New captain Tal Burstein is dreaming of playing for Israel at the O2 Arena in the Olympic basketball tournament in three years time. "We want to improve our match fitness and the coordination between the players," Burstein said when asked of the side's targets in the warm-up tournament in London. "I have a dream of playing at the Olympics in London, but that is still very far away. My goal at the moment is the European Championships." Qualification for the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament will depend on success at the 2011 European Championships. For tickets, call 0844 856 0202 or go to