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Israeli U-20 basketball team falls to France in Euro final

Noam Yaacov led the Blue and White team with 31 points.

Israel's Under-20 national basketball team, July 16, 2023. Credit: FIBA.
Israel's Under-20 national basketball team, July 16, 2023. Credit: FIBA.

Israel’s Under-20 national basketball team fell 89-79 to France in the finals of the European Championship on Sunday.

Dansih_Israeli Noam Yaacov of Hapoel Jerusalem led the Israeli team with 31 points, as the Blue and White took home the silver medal at the tourney held in Greece.

“Big kudos to our young basketball team for a wonderful tournament, making it to the final of the European Championship,” tweeted Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar. “Our amazing guys gave us a great game and lost only in overtime—they deserve our praise!”

The Israeli team beat Belgium 67-46 in the semis on Saturday, after overcoming Germany 75-64 in the quarterfinals.

Last year, the U-20 team finished in fourth place, after winning the competition in 2018 and 2019.

The stellar performance comes on the heels of successful runs for Israel’s youth soccer team, which earlier this month reached the semifinal of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Georgia.

That, in turn, followed another remarkable effort at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina, where the Israeli squad beat powerhouse Brazil in the quarters before losing to Uruguay in the final four.

The Israelis finished the tournament in third place with a consolation win against South Korea.

Israel’s youth soccer team has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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