Israel’s Under-20 basketball team wins second place in European Championship finals

‘Huge kudos to our young basketball team for a wonderful tournament,’ says Israeli minister, after national Under-20 team places 2nd in European Championship.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Israel’s Under-20 national basketball team won second place in the 2023 FIBA U-20 European Championship after competing against France in the finals on Sunday night in Crete, Greece.

Israel lost 89-79 in overtime in a game that marked the Israeli team’s fourth time reaching the finals of European Championship in the last five editions of the tournament, according to FIBA. Israeli players Daniel Wolf and Noam Yaacov were the team’s top scorers in the game, with the latter scoring 31 points in the finals and Wolf giving his team 17 points.

France remained undefeated until the end of the European Championship and won the country’s second title in the Under-20 category following a victory in 2010. Coming in third place was the tournament’s host Greece after their close 68-64 overtime win against Belgium, who won fourth place.

“Huge kudos to our young basketball team for a wonderful tournament, making it to the final of the European Championship,” Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday night after the team’s second place win. “Our amazing guys put on a great game, and surrendered only in overtime — they deserve every praise!”

The Israeli team, led by coach Elad Hasin, beat Belgium 67-46 in the semifinals on Saturday, where four players combined for 48 of the team’s 67 total points, led by Daniel Wolf’s being the leading scorer of the game with 17 points and 18 rebounds. Israel was previously victorious against Germany 75-64 in the quarterfinals.

Israel’s national U-20 basketball team finished in fourth place in last year’s FIBA U-20 European Championship, after winning the tournament in 2019 and 2018.