Czech coach Ginzburg goes against his home country: 'It will be more emotional'

2022-09-08 09:27

Czech Republic's head coach Ronen Ginzburg was born in Israel but accepted Czech citizenship in 2020, and is now leading the national team to a playoff-deciding fight against Israel. He assured that if the team plays as they did against Finland, a win is almost sure.

Credit: AP - Scanpix

Czech Republic's head coach Ronen Ginzburg will lead the team in a battle against Israel today as the hosts will try to take the last playoff spot in Group D.

Unless Finland loses against the Netherlands, the match between the Czech Republic and Israel will determine the final playoff team in Group D. The duel will be special for Czech coach Ronen Ginzburg.

Born in Israel, Ginzburg was granted Czech citizenship in 2020 and has been coaching the national team since the end of 2013.

"It will be a key match, and also against my home country, so it will be more emotional. But now I live here and I love the Czechia," Ginzburg said. "As soon as the match starts, emotions must go aside. I was born in Israel but at the end of the day it's all about basketball and we have to win."

Under Ginzburg's guidance, the Czech Republic made it to the 2019 FIBA World Cup where they finished sixth. The team also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last year for the first time since Czechoslovakia broke up.

Now, the Czechs are hosting one of the groups of EuroBasket 2022. Qualified as a co-host, they will now battle against Israel for the last spot in the playoffs.

"It's a team that plays smart. They try to disguise his weaknesses under the basket. The most dangerous is Avdija, but they also have EuroLeague players on their roster," Ginzburg commented. "If we play against them as we did against Finland, that is, with the exception of the beginning of the match, then we will win."

Israel and the Czech Republic will meet at 17:30 CET today in Prague. 



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