Friendship Games – Sunday Highlights


Friendship Games – Sunday Highlights
Jul 3, 2017

By Alex Flum, Monica McNutt and Hannah Yasharoff

Eilat, Israel — With only a week to stage the 12th annual Friendship Games, event organizers try anything and everything to help break the ice among the participants.

On Monday evening, the participants entered a pub in Eilat, where they each received a color-coded card. This split them into groups of three or four, in which they played a type of speed dating, Friendship Games-style.

Members of each group were asked questions such as, “What would you bring to a lonely island?” and “Who is your favorite writer?”

After they showed off their brains, about two dozen of the participants touted their braun, engaging in a friendly arm-wrestling competition. The rest of the participants circled around the arm-wrestlers, fight-club style, cheering everyone on.

Thankfully, though, we were able to talk about it.

Earlier, the second day of basketball games were played.

Game of the Day: Lithuania 32, Russia 29

In the most controversial game of the tournament thus far, Lithuania’s women’s team held on to defeat Russia.

With Lithuania leading, 32-29, in the final seconds, Russia forward Tatiana Kazakova banked in an improbable heave from halfcourt. Two seconds earlier, however, a foul was called, although play continued through the whistle. The would-be tying basket did not count.

Referees and tournament officials deliberated for roughly five minutes, before deciding to resume play. The Russian team, however, refused to go back out onto the court. The game ended in a forfeit.

“We had an incident today in one of the games, we will deal with that,” Games Organizer Arie Rosenzweig said. “Sometimes these things happen when you [compete], it’s not friendship, but hey, it’s okay.”

Earlier, Russia stormed out to a fast start, leading 7-2 after the first quarter. Following a fairly even second quarter, Lithuania dominated Russia in the third, starting the quarter on an 8-3 run and outscoring them 16-9 in the quarter thanks to a scoring outburst from forward Aurelija Putramentaite.

Putramentaite led Lithuania with 13 points. Kazakova led all scorers with 15 points.

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday after a trip to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Monday. Lithuania will look to stay undefeated in the tournament when they take on Jordan, while Russia will have a chance to bounce back against the Israeli Jewish team.

Score Roundup:

Men’s Bracket:

Lithuania 78, Fureidis Israel 51

ASA Israel 56, Palestine 40

Ukraine 54, Eilat 24

Jordan 39, Poland 59

Women’s Bracket:

Russia 54, Jordan 8

Yafia Israel 24, Jordan 19

Russia 29, LIthuania 32

Feature of the Day: Israeli Basketball Player Elevates Sports Over Politics

Eilat, Israel —  At 6 feet 10 inches tall, Georgiy Osadchyy stands out not only by his stature, but also through his actions.

From 2010-13, the Ukranian-born Israeli citizen played in the Friendship Games in Eilat, Israel, for the team representing his home country since 2001.

Yet, as the 12th annual Friendship Games play out this week, Osadchyy has assumed a different – and unlikely – role for the third consecutive year: He’s playing for the Palestinian team. Continue reading…


The event’s organizers sponsored student coverage of the Friendship Games. Editorial control of the coverage and content remained with the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

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