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Arik Shivek to share Israel role

    Arik Shivek was yesterday announced as the new coach of Israel’s men’s basketball team, after the Israel Basketball Association allowed him to take up the role in a part-time capacity.

    The 53-year-old, who agreed personal terms with the IBA last week, is currently the coach of Belgian club Dexia Mons-Hainaut, a position he will continue to hold as Israel boss.

    His appointment was approved by IBA’s professional committee on Monday and he was officially named as Tzvika Sherf’s replacement when the IBA board ratified the decision yesterday.

    The professional committee also recommended that Ironi Nahariya coach Ya’acov Jino be named as the Under-20 national team coach and that Danny Franco continues to lead the Under-18 side.

    Shai Shani, chairman of the IBA, said: “We are facing a challenging year on all fronts.

    Only after 2010 will we know whether Olympic qualification is realistic Shai Shani

    “The national team’s target is to reach the 2011 European Championships, while the youth sides will be battling for their places in the top reaches of the European game.”

    Shivek’s brief includes trying to get the national team to the 2012 Olympics, even if Shani accepts the chances are not very high.

    He added: “Only after the world championships in 2010 will we know whether Olmpic qualification is realistic.”

    Shani hopes that Shivek will benefit from selecting home-grown players hardened from competing in the Israeli Basketball Super League, which is known to be among the best leagues in Europe. He explained:

    “In the men’s first league there are up to six foreign players in each squad, although there must be at least two Israeli players on court at any time.”

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