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Will Zvika Sherf continue in Maccabi?

The coach spot in Maccabi, the Israeli basketball powerhouse, seems to be the most unsure for next season. Current coach, Zvika Sherf, who replaced coach Oded Katash at midseason, taking the yellows to the Euroleague final, might not be on the sidelines next year.

Voices from inside the club tell of bad relationships between some players and the coach. So is the story of the 23 years old Maccabi’s forward Lior Eliyahu. The player who averaged 10 ppg and 5.3 rpg in 21 minutes last season under Spahija and considered to be one of the promising talents in Europe fell to 3.8 ppg in only 10 minutes.

In an interview of Lior’s brother to “Maarive” daily newspaper he told about Lior’s feelings and the player’s relationships with the coach. It all began in the summer when, during the Israel national team games Lior asked for a permission to leave the national team in order to join his brother’s wedding. At start coach Sherf refused to send Lior but after some pressure of veteran players such as Tapiro and Kozikaro coach Sherf was willing to let him join his brother wedding. “From this point on” says Lior’s brother “everything changed”. Lior’s brother claims that Zvika is abusing Lior by saying in some team practice: “I expect several things of each and every one of you guys, besides Lior who I usually screw up”. Lior’s brother keeps on telling about the other cases of Sherf throwing Lior out of practices and humiliating him in front of the players and media.

Taking into account the last loses of Maccabi in the Israeli domestic league and other voices who are telling about bad relations between Zvika and the players (such is Tal Burstein case) it’s not sure whether we will see Zvika in Maccabi next season, names of Drucker, Gershon and Blatt are in the air.

So who will coach Maccabi next year? The answer will be known in short time but the most sure thing is that we won’t see both Lior and Sherf in the same team.

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