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Jeff Rosen, an American billionaire and one of the sponsor of the Israel Baseball League, has purchased the Maccabi Haifa basketball team. The deal was initiated by Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.

The original Maccabi Haifa became BC Haifa eight years ago following a merger with Hapoel Haifa, and the unified team held on for a few years until it sold its rights to Ramat Hasharon and was dismantled.

Three years ago, Ilan Beck and Avi Tzigler began to try to restore the club's glory days.

They turned daughter club Maccabi Bat Galim into Maccabi Haifa, and last season the club was promoted to the National League.

This summer they have built a squad that aspires to improve even further. "The goal is to move up to the Premier League and we will not just be an also-ran, we will reach Europe," said chairman Beck yesterday.

The club signed Uriel Marco yesterday, and he will join Oren Ben Hemo, Adi Pereg, Tomer Huli and Uri Greenwald. Avi Ashkenazi, who has Premier League experience, will coach the squad after Toby Slilat stepped aside to coach the women's team in the National League.