It is a rare feat for Israel to capture a gold medal in any international sporting event. So when it happens, it is certainly a worthy cause for celebration. Sunday’s 80-66 victory over previously undefeated Croatia in the final of the 2018 FIBA Under-20 European Championship was the blue-and-white’s first-ever title in any FIBA event at any level.
After opening the tournament with a heartbreaking loss against the tournament host Germany, the Ariel Beit-Halachmi-coached Israeli side won six games in a row to bring home the winner’s trophy. The score was still 47-45 with a couple of minutes played in the third, but a 7-0 run for Israel proved to be the decisive blow Croatia never managed to recover from. The result garnered instant joy and praise, both from those within the team, to dignitaries throughout the country.
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