Casspi Return Reason For Optimism

21 May 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

9. Omri Casspi (Israel)
Omri Casspi did not feature for Israel in 2011 in Lithuania, but will be back this summer in Slovenia

After a disappointing performance in EuroBasket 2011, Israel is set to leave a better mark in the upcoming competition in Slovenia.

Israel was drawn to Group A of the championship together with Great Britain, Belgium, Ukraine, France and Germany.

With less than four months until tip off, against Great Britain on September 4th, the Israeli national team coach, Arik Shivek, together with Omri Casspi, spoke to the media about the upcoming summer.

"In this level there are no easy draws," said Shivek. "All the teams in our group and in the entire competitions are strong."

"Our goal is first of all to qualify to the next stage, and be among the Top 12 teams in EuroBasket," he added. "Once we're there we'll think about the next level and hope to qualify to the quarter-finals.

"I told my players that we need to start this campaign in the same spot where we stopped the last one," said Shivek.

"If we do that we can certainly reach our goal."

On contrary to EuroBasket 2011 Israel will enjoy the presence of its only NBA player in Casspi.

Shivek knows exactly how important it is for his team.

"Casspi's addiction, together with other players we expect to see with us in EuroBasket, will help us a lot in the upcoming tournament also in the match-ups we will have with our opponents."

"Very often we see players who didn't play well during the season with their club but in the National Team step up and show their true quality.

"I have no doubt all of our 12 guys will be in great shape when EuroBasket tips off.

"I have faith in their abilities," he concluded.

Casspi showed his anticipation for the upcoming campaign.

After his 4th season in the NBA, when he wrote career lows in minutes and points, the Israeli forward is set to show his game is still among the top.

"I can't wait to start playing with the national team," he said.

"The togetherness of our team is our business card in this summer.

"I believe we could have a good performance if we play like we know and can."

Israel will start its preparations in Italy playing the hosts, Georgia and Poland between 6th and 10th of August.

Next they will travel to Belgium where the locals will host in addition to Israel, Italy and Poland between 16th and 20th of August.

Israel will then return home to round out their warm-up campaign with games against Georgia on 25th and 27th August.


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