Friendship Games: World Cup fever

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Friendship Games: World Cup fever
Jun 24, 2018

By Julia Karron

EILAT, Israel – In the spirit of the World Cup, players, coaches and volunteers at this year’s Friendship Game showed their more competitive sides in a futsal tournament. Players could choose to be on a team from their own country, or opt for a pickup style team with members from other countries. The team comprised of the attaches, the translators assigned to each team for translating Hebrew into that team’s native language, beat the Lithuanian team by a score of 1-0 in the final.

Game of the Day

ASA Israel 55, Ireland 29

Saturday evening, after an expansive cruise across the Red Sea on a three story yacht, ASA Israel player Yehonatan Alfasi commented that while he’d had a great time dancing and mingling with the Irish players, Sunday’s game he expected to “kick their ass on the court.”

 Alfasi’s prediction held true, as he sank an early three, and ASA Israel quickly pulled ahead 16-7 by the end of the first quarter, and his team never looked back.

 Tal Salman expected his Irish squad to “press half court and shoot threes,” “run,” and “take as many shots as possible.” But Ireland was pressed into taking contested layups, getting blocked at nearly every turn, and only attempting four shots in the second quarter. On defense, the turnovers in the offensive zone meant that most of the time Ireland couldn’t press up the court how they wanted.

But in the dying seconds of the game, the Irish let loose and Manus Darby hit a shot clock and buzzer-beating three as the game ended with defenders in his face, sending the Irish into a chorus of cheers.

Sunday’s Scores

Mens Division:

Ukraine 52, Germany 9

Jordan 54, Poland 48

Lithiania 71, Israeli Arabic 27

ASA Israel 33, Palestine 25

Women’s Division:

Israeli Arabic 50, Jordan 18

Russia 44, ASA Israel 39

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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