U18 MEN DIVISION B
By David Hein
|Daniel Sealine and the Israel U18 team have one crystal clear goal this summer - promotion to Division A |
Israel have spent the last two summers in Division B at the U18 European Championship.
But shooting guard Daniel Sealine and this year's team are ready to bring the country back to the top flight.
"The whole plan is to get back to Division A," Sealine told FIBAEurope.com about his team's goal for the U18 European Championship Division B in Bosnia and Herzegovina from August 9-19.
"We talk about it all the time and that's what we want to do. That's the expectation"
Israel were dropped from Division A in 2009 by finishing 15th.
They lost to Finland in the semi-finals of Division B in 2010 to take fourth place and dropped to seventh in Division B in 2011.
"It's not our fault we're in Division B and we're not blaming anyone. But it's a mission, and we have to take it as all or nothing," the Israeli player said.
The 1.83m guard will be one of Israel's leaders at the U18 European Championship after a strong showing at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany, where the team finished 10th.
Sealine averaged 10.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.8 steals while shooting 55 percent from the floor.
For the tournament in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel were drawn into Group A along with Hungary, Belarus, England, Romania and Scotland.
"I think we can beat them because we beat Sweden here (at the AST). They're also in Division B," said Sealine.
"I think we are favorites to go up to Division A, and I hope we do it."
Sealine said Israel's experience at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament - where they beat Argentina, New Zealand and Sweden - helped them a lot.
"We struggled in size because we were smaller than most of the teams there. But I'm glad that we made an effort and at least finished 10th," he said.
"We saw the level of the opponents - the best in Europe and the world.
"We actually saw it and we said to ourselves we can get to their level. If we didn't make so many mistakes we could have won more games."
When asked about Israel's biggest factor for the U18 European championship, Sealine said: "Defense - we're an athletic team. I think we have to press the whole court and get steals. That's how our team is built."