Israel’s national basketball squad suffered a surprising loss to underdog Estonia Saturday night after playing to overtime in Rishon Letzion.
Tallinn’s best overcame a deep first quarter deficit to beat Israel 88-86 in the qualifiers for next year’s Eurobasket tournament, where the Blue and White are normally a powerhouse.
The loss comes days after Israel suffered a 75-69 defeat at the hands of Montenegro.
Israel is now sitting at the bottom of the Group A chart and will need to beat Iceland on Tuesday for a chance at making the next round of the European basketball championships.
After starting slow, Estonia ran away with the lead in the third quarter, though Israel fought back in the final minutes.
Israel took a 75-72 advantage into the final seconds but Estonian Gert Dorbek forced overtime when he hit a three-pointer from the corner with 3.4 seconds left.
The two sides exchanged the lead several times in overtime, but free-throws from Estonian brothers Tanel Sokk and Sten-Timmu Sokk punched in the win for the Baltic state.
Omri Casspi led the scoring for Israel with 23 points, but got little help from his teammates, who were mostly held to low double digit scoring totals. Raviv Lemonad was a rare bright spot, scoring 12 points off the bench.
Estonia’s Kistjan Kangur led the scoring for the winners with 21 points.
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