Playing 21 minutes, Gal Mekel finished with seven points and six assists, helping the Mavericks cruise to an 89-83 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Observant athletes, who have to work extra hard to combine their religious studies with serious athletic training, are going for more than gold at this year’s Games.
A strong performance in the second half propelled the national team to victory. The win raised hopes for a World Cup qualification, something no Israeli coach has been able to achieve for over 40 years.
Coach Eli Guttman, who admitted that his team started the campaign in poor form, knows that the game against Honduras, ranked 50th in the world and coming off some impressive results of its own, will be no formality.