Israel Pair To Miss Warm-Up Tournament

Tal Burstein (Israel)
Israel will use the absence of captain Tal Burstein and sharp-shooter Yotam Halperin from this weekend's tournament as a chance to experiment with their backcourt formation

Captain Tal Burstein and Yotam Halperin are to miss Israel's trip to Cyprus this weekend but their absence from preparations for the EuroBasket is only temporary.

The players have been given permission to sit out from coach Arik Shivek for personal reasons, but they will rejoin their team-mates when the group return to Israel.

"Tal and Yotam will not be with us for personal reasons, and they will join us as soon as we get back to Israel," the coach said.

"It means the tournament will allow other players to get their chance, and that will be helpful as we assess them."

David Blu will also miss the trip as he is yet to join the squad, having been granted more time by Shivek. Blu is now due in Israel after the weekend.

Israel are heading to Cyprus for a tournament that also involves Greece, Bulgaria and Poland, and Shivek is excited by the competition.

"We're going to play in a tournament that will be tough against some top teams," he said.

"The tournament is structured with games at times that correspond to how a EuroBasket is structured. It is not comfortable to play early in the afternoon, but you know that if you prepare like this, it can be an important factor in later success."



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