The delegation representing Canada’s men’s basketball team at the 20th Maccabiah Games arrived in Jerusalem yesterday and has already had two practices in preparation for what will be a very tough 5 team group with USA, France, Mexico and Belgium, against which Canada kicks off the tournament on Friday at 1:15 PM local time (7 hours ahead of Eastern time)/6:15 AM Eastern time.
Canada’s preliminary round games continue on Sunday, July 9th against Mexico at 5:15 PM local/10:15 AM Eastern and then likely their two toughest match-ups: vs. USA on Monday, July 10th (also at 5:15 PM local) and quickly followed by Tuesday, July 11th game vs. France at 5:30 PM local.
According to Canada’s Assistant Coach Madhev “Muddy” Trivedi, both France and USA are likely to present strong challenges as the French have “at least 4 players who play First Division (professionally) in France” and the American roster, coached by Doug Gottlieb, is full of Division 1, 2 and 3 players.
Canada’s roster, coached by Allon Bross of Toronto, is led by three solid guards with U-Sports ties including 6’3″ Sage Usher (Toronto), 5’11” Ave Bross (McGill) and 6’1″ Mor Menashe (Lakehead). Others on the team include Adam Halpern (Western), Sean Asheknazy (Fraser Valley now D3 pro in Israel). Jordan Balaban (Queen’s), Jason Bitton, Divir Cahana (Concordia), Spencer Green, Raphy Abergel (NYC DIII) and Keenan Benarroch (Manitoba).
Maccabi Canada’s mission is to promote Jewish identity and to cultivate future leaders through the passion of sports. Every four years, the Maccabiah Games brings Jewish athletes of all ages to Israel, providing world-class athletic competition as well as an opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich culture and heritage of the Jewish people.
Canada’s Preliminary Round schedule:
Friday, July 7th vs. Belgium
Sunday, July 9th vs. Mexico
Monday, July 10th vs. USA
Tuesday, July 11th vs. France
Gold Medal round to follow. Top two teams in each of two groups qualify for semi-final round. Canada needs to finish first or second to advance to the championship round.