After two wins in two days by the Israel men’s national basketball team, I was feeling pretty confident that they would earn a Top 16 berth to the knockout round. But that kind of thinking will have to be on hold after they lost 85-76 to Poland on Monday afternoon in Prague, Czech Republic.
Like their previous game against the Netherlands, the Israelis did not start out in an ideal fashion. falling behind 23-16. The deficit fell to double digits in the second quarter with the Israelis, Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija included, unable to get much going on offense. He was scoreless for most of the game, scoring just 3 points.
Poland was able to sustain their lead for the rest of the game, and countered any run Israel made to keep the deficit manageable. Though the final score kept the margin in single digits, Poland led by double digits for most of the second half and were up by 15 at one point. AJ Slaughter led Poland with 24 points.
For Israel, Yovel Zoosman led with 18 points off the bench and Yam Madar added 17.
The Israelis play Serbia tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET.