Delighted Doron ready to return Israel to Final Round
ANKARA (FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers) – Israel team leader Shay Doron is hoping her country can lift themselves back to the Final Round by building on a wonderful road win in Romania last Saturday.
The visitors stunned a huge home crowd in Cluj as they built an early lead of more than 20 points, before holding off a late Romanian rescue mission to ultimately ride to what could yet prove to be a priceless 62-51 success.
Having missed out on the previous two editions of the Final Round in France in 2013 and last year in Hungary and Romania, Doron and Co are eager to avoid a third consecutive disappointment.
But after a trio of wins on the bounce, they have transformed their prospects of sneaking into the shake-up for the Czech Republic.
"I was very excited for the victory [in Romania] as the whole team worked very hard on the court, we fought a lot for every ball and we gave the maximum percentage possible," mused Doron who top-scored with a sparkling 22 points.
"We met a strong team with many valuable players, but we showed that we were better than them and our defence was the key to the victory.
"After this success, we have a good atmosphere and we hope to also win in Bosnia and Herzegovina as we look to qualify for EuroBasket Women 2017."
Shay Doron and Israeli head coach Adan Inbar face the press following their side's victory in Israel
Head coach Adan Inbar echoed her sentiments and added, "For sure, it was a great victory and we are very happy for it, since it was a very difficult game against a strong team.
"I'm also happy for this victory because it was an important revenge after we lost last year at home."
He continued, "I'm extremely satisfied with my team as they played exactly how we prepared – with good defence, and a very good attitude.
"Now we have a very good morale after this success and looking ahead to our game with Bosnia and Herzegovina."
While Israel cling to the hopes they can punch their ticket, there was despair for Romania who flopped in front of their passionate home fans – as the move to utilise the strengths of the naturalised Ashley Walker, backfired.
"It is not easy to comment and very difficult to explain what happened," conceded play-caller, Miroslav Popov.
"We could have hoped to be qualified with one more victory at home, but we missed our chance.
"We started poorly in the first two quarters and we were forced to run after our opponents and we must learn from mistakes in the future," he concluded.
Romania will wrap up their campaign with a difficult looking fixture against Turkey in Ankara on Wednesday night.