A new season, a new coach, six new players, new uniforms – and old hopes. Hapoel Holon will open its Champions League campaign tomorrow (Wednesday, 21:30) when it hosts Brindisi. For coach Maurizio Buscalia it will be an interesting opening: in his first game as a foreign coach, he will still stand on the lines in his country, Italy.
In a few words: Holon left Israel on Sunday, and after a night in Milan and training at the Mediolnum Forum, she arrived on a domestic flight to Brindisi. “We are finally getting to the start of the season, and starting our journey against a very good team,” said Buscalia.
“The fact that we are opening the season first and foremost in Europe requires us to maintain a high concentration at any given moment and be prepared for any development. Our players have a fighting spirit, desire and work ethic, and our ability to bring it all to the floor will be of great importance.”
How much Holon has renewed for the upcoming season, even the purple game uniforms designed in the pattern of a tiger by the Spanish clothing company “Kalma” will testify. The “Oshi Oshi” restaurant chain has joined the group of sponsors of the group.
At the Coping Center: Holon’s attacking play last season depended first and foremost on the pair of guards, Tyros Maggie and C.J. Harris. Both are no longer here, and the offensive and fast.paced style of Stefanos Dadas’ days will be replaced by a structured, physical and much more tactical method under Buscalia, but the dependence on the game manager remains as it was. Joe Ragland has already played in the Euroleague, EuroCup and Champions League, appearing for three years in the Italian league; At the age of 31, after a rare season in which he was only in one frame, he returns to the European arena and will be the key man of his new team.
The data: After qualifying for the Final Eight last season, Holon paid the price of success, and its stars scattered everywhere. The departure of Dadas forced the Purples to change phase and reinvent themselves. Earlier we mentioned the position of Hapoel Jerusalem in the eyes of gamblers in Europe, but Buscalia and his players do not enjoy a similar honor: on the bwin website they are ranked 19th to 22nd in the chances of winning.
Rival: If there is one group that is well acquainted with the previous version of Holon, it is Brindisi. The Purples defeated them twice in the top 16, after two close and tense games, and recorded their only victory in history on Italian soil. Since then she has managed to lose to champions Virtus Bologna in the playoff semi.finals, and started the current season with a loss and victory in the domestic league.
Please note: Nick and Josh Perkins. In yesterday’s home win over Dynamo Sassari, Brindisi shot 15 threes at 53.5%, and the one who was particularly passionate was Rafael Gaspardo (7 of 8, 29 points). But the name that must have been repeated in Buscalia’s briefings, and much more than once, is Perkins. There are two of them in the team, and they are not related to each other: Interior player Nick Perkins (24, 2.03) continues for a second season at the club and was worth 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in the Champions League last year, and coordinator Josh Perkins (26, 1.91) finished the season Who passed through the Belgrade partisan.