Local hoops: Eizenberg insists Hapoel TA will return to action

Team was supposed to play Maccabi Shoham in a league game on Tuesday.

hap ta 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
hap ta 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A day after announcing that Hapoel Tel Aviv's basketball team has ceased operating, owner Shaul Eizenberg declared on Wednesday that the team will resume training on Thursday. Hapoel was supposed to play Maccabi Shoham in a league game on Tuesday, but failed to inform the Israeli Basketball Association where the game will take place, and instead of appearing for the game, chose to notify the IBA that it had shut down operations. "Hapoel Tel Aviv will return to action tomorrow [Thursday] and will resume training and playing," Eizenberg told The Jerusalem Post. "I spoke to the IBA's legal council and I was satisfied with the things that he told me. The club will return to regular activity." Hapoel has been in constant decline since the end of the 2003/04 season when the team's sponsors deserted, leaving Eizenberg at the helm. Eizenberg has been the strong man at Hapoel since 1992 and ultimately led the club to its all-time low this week. Tel Aviv is the second most successful side in Israeli basketball history, winning five league championships (the last in 1969) and four State Cups. The side has also finished as league runner up an astounding 20 times and lost 12 times in the cup final. The team chose to play in the National League this season, forfeiting its place in the BSL after failing to raise the minimum budget to play in the top division. Seven games into the season Hapoel is one place off the bottom of the standings after only recording a single win. To make matters worse, Tel Aviv players haven't been paid in the last two months and announced a labor dispute on Monday. The club management has 14 days to pay the players before they begin a strike. "Hapoel Tel Aviv needs to continue to play until somebody comes and invests money in the club," Eizenberg said on Wednesday. "The side should play in the BSL with a budget of NIS 3-4 million. When somebody comes with that amount then Hapoel will be back at its natural place in Israeli basketball. Until that happens the club just has to survive."