A day before the State Cup semi-final games, the traditional press conference was held this morning (Sunday) on the parquet in Peace Arena in preparation for the event with the participation of a coach and a player from each team: Elad Hassin and Tomer Levinson from Nes Ziona Municipal, Oded Ketch and Rafi Manko from Maccabi Tel Aviv, Sharon Drucker and Amit Simhon from Hapoel Haifa and Alexander Dzikic and Oz Blazer from Hapoel Jerusalem.
Ness Ziona and Maccabi Tel Aviv will meet in the first game tomorrow at 18:00 and then they will fight for the ticket to the Jerusalem and Haifa finals at 20:45. The final game will be held on Thursday at 20:45 in the presence of the Honorable President of Israel, Yitzhak Herzog.
Oded Ketch commented on the importance of the status: "We come to the game like any league game, with a lot of respect. We have a tight, good and quality league. We know what a cup is, it has different rules. This is one of the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season, it will not be easy Every game for us is a must, but this one is special because it is a game for a title. From my experience as a player, as a spectator and as a coach, I think it is tricky because everyone defines us as favorites. There is a feeling that we are playing not to lose, our goal as a professional team is to get the players to come and play To win, it's a very big difference. It's special, a title in the middle of the year is an exciting thing."
"This event is a holiday for Israeli basketball," said Drucker, "We are finishing a crazy schedule, we are dealing with injuries. Justin (Tilman) will only do 2-3 training sessions with us. Everyone knows the qualities of Hapoel Jerusalem, but the cliché is true : It's just one game and anything can happen. We'll try to prepare our guys with the squad we have to try to surprise."
Džikić on his team's rise in the majors so far: "In other countries, there is a different understanding of the domestic cup, but here in Israel it is a very big thing. It is very important for us. We all want to be part of history. I have known Drucker for a long time , I know his qualities. I hope we don't think about the final in advance, we have to get through the semi-final first against a team full of talent."
the team coaches,
"A short rotation also has advantages, the players know that they will stay on the field. Their new player, Tilman, can change the game, he is very talented. We are currently only thinking about Hapoel Haifa. We really don't think we deserve to be in the final beforehand, we are focused on the semi The final first."
We are very happy to be in this position for the third time in the club's history," said Hasin, "the balance of power is quite clear, but we will not come to be used as a decoration.
Everyone knows the strength of Maccabi Tel Aviv, we will come and play hard for 40 minutes and in one game anything can happen. We will give everything possible and hope for the best."
On the preparation for the opposing team: "These are the conditions and we will have to deal with them in the best possible way. Maccabi Tel Aviv and its coach, whom I greatly appreciate, have a game method that Katze has been running with for years.
The method of play is similar, whether this or that player is playing or not.
We mainly concentrated on ourselves, Maccabi is Maccabi, they have a lot of tools, but in the end we want to see the miracle of Ziona at the beginning of the year.
We are dealing with how to be the best possible."
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