Israel EuroBasket Preparations Finally Begin

07.07.2005

Israel's preparations for the EuroBasket's additional qualifying tournament are finally underway following the appointment of Zvika Sherf as coach.

Sherf, who last worked as a coach at Dynamo Moscow, has taken the national team's reins for the third time in his career.

He takes over from David Blatt, who stepped down last week in a dispute over his lack of a coaching certificate in the country.

I didn't look to come to be David Blatt's replacement
Zvi Sherf
After leading the team in practice for the first time on Wednesday, Sherf, who will be in charge of the team at least through qualifying for EuroBasket 2007, told reporters: "Finally we got to the court.

"Now we need to work. I didn't look to come to be David Blatt's replacement. I came to be the coach of the national team. This job doesn't belong to any one [specific person]."

Sherf had revealed at his unveiling earlier on Wednesday that he received assurances from Blatt that he had no interest in taking the head coaching job back.

For Sherf to lead the Israelis into the EuroBasket, they must win an additional qualifying tournament this summer.

Israel must finish top of Group B above Belgium and the Netherlands, and then win a showdown against the sides that finish top of Groups A and C.

As for Blatt, Benetton Treviso look to be the big winners as he will now have no distractions and can focus firmly on his new job with Treviso preparing for the rigours of another campaign in Lega A, arguably the toughest league outside the NBA.


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