Tour summary from Banja Luka: Hapoel Jerusalem vs Galatasaray 99:89/Sport1
"Hapoel Jerusalem is a club that has always interested me. He's growing and I want to be a big part of it, grow with him, and do something big together. I'm very at peace with the choice I made," Yuval Zussman said Thursday evening. At the press conference held by the Reds on the occasion of the new season, the Israeli player added: "The two years at Alba Berlin did me good and matured me. I look at the situations I'm in differently now. As a foreign player, I got a different perspective."
The holders of the Israel State Cup will meet Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the quarterfinals of the Winner's Cup on Saturday, and will officially open the season with two home games in the Premier League against Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Holon - before their opponents from Champions League qualification arrive at the Arena.
"What will be success this season? Super tough question," coach Aleksandar Dzikic said. "We want to try and take one more step in each framework. It won't be easy, because last season was good, and whoever didn't think so, it's his problem. I want to thank the eight players who left for all the love and investment they gave here. I believe we will continue this season with what we started last year. A year ago there were complaints about unattractive names that arrived, and this summer too we did not disappoint and did not bring in big names. We want to play a certain way, as a team, and achieve."
His status is still unclear. Kadyn Carrington/Danny Maron
Jerusalem is still waiting for the completion of the process of granting Kadin Carrington Israeli citizenship, and may find itself in a debate whether to register him as a foreigner to the league (thus giving up his services as a local for the entire season) or wait and assemble him in the European framework only. "The request is from the Israel Basketball Association for the benefit of the Israeli national team, and we enjoy it, but we are not so party to the matter," explained professional director Yonatan Alon. "We'll wait right until the last second of registration, and we'll make a decision based on status."
Dzikic admitted: "Last season, we tried to avoid more than six foreigners in the squad. My biggest problem was leaving two players aside. I couldn't get used to it all season."
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You want one more step in each frame. Hapoel Jerusalem/Bernie Ardov
Regarding the new face of the club, under the ownership of Matan Adelson, Alon said: "We can't really say now what Hapoel Jerusalem will look like in ten years. We want to upgrade in aspects, even those that are not so professional, but more in terms of the office and the fan experience. We are in a transition year, in which we will formulate plans for the future. It takes time to learn the business, understand the meanings and the new people in the system.
"It was a long and challenging summer, with big changes," Alon continued. "We just met the goals we set for ourselves this summer. We maintained continuity and strengthened where we wanted. That the thought from the beginning of the summer was that there was a coach who knew what he wanted, and that was the line from the moment he arrived. When we create peace for him and give him the conditions to work, he brings results, and we worked on the basis of this assumption. We didn't have too many compromises or players that we couldn't bring in."
LeVay Randolph: "After one season here, I feel at home. It's an honor for me to captain this team and represent a community. I know what the coach expects from us. I'm already a veteran player, I need to be a vocal leader. I was captain in college and I'm the oldest of three brothers, so I know the job... I'll do exactly what I've done so far, only the title has changed."
- More on the subject:
- Hapoel Jerusalem
- Yuval Zussman
- Aleksandar Dzikić