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Basketball – Israel make Euro U20 decider

THE Israeli U20 men’s national basketball team lost 79-89 in overtime to France in the grand final of the 2023 FIBA European Championships last Sunday in Crete, taking home silver, while tournament hosts Greece won bronze after defeating Belgium. Noam Yaacov was Israel’s leading scorer in the decider with 31 points, while Daniel Wolf chipped in with 17 and Ron Zipper 15. Wolf finished the championships by topping its rebounds per game tally (12.0) and Yaacov had the highest average assists per game (7.6) in the tournament. In points per game, Wolf (17.7) was second only to Iceland’s Orri Gunnarsson (18.3). “Huge kudos to our young basketball team for a wonderful tournament, making it to the final,” Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar said. “Our amazing guys put on a great game and surrendered only in overtime – they deserve every praise.” The team, coached by Elad Hasin, reached the final after toppling Belgium 67-46 in the semis, beating Germany 75-64 in the quarter-finals and Spain 59-52 in the round of 16, following a slow start in the group stage. In the impressive 21-point win over Belgium, Wolf was Israel’s highest scorer, with 17 points. Last year, the national team finished in fourth place, having won the tournament in 2018 and 2019, with rosters led by current NBA power forward Deni Avdija of the Washington Wizards and Euroleague guard Yam Madar, who recently signed with Turkish team Fenerbahçe Beko.

Credit AJN

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