In his second season with the team - and first training with its senior team, playmaker Ido Menchel looks to lead U18 Maccabi Tel Aviv at the ANGT Finals.
ANGT Finals: Ever-improving Menchel eager to lead Maccabi at ANGT Finals
Ido Menchel has experienced two different situations at the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament with U18 Maccabi Tel Aviv. In his first, he wowed scouts with his big numbers. However, it was improved team play in the second that helped him get the chance to return to Belgrade to play at the ANGT Finals.
The last time Menchel was in Belgrade, he was one of the leading scorers at the 2020-21 ANGT Belgrade. He poured in 20.8 points to tie for third-best at the event along with 4.8 rebounds and a tournament-best 7.3 assists. But the team ended up taking fifth place.
“My biggest accomplishment thus far in basketball would be my big performance last year at the ANGT,” admitted Menchel, who was a year younger than the rest of the competition.
Menchel is taking more of a leadership role within the team this year, especially since he’s only been with Maccabi for a second season.
“I’m originally from Modiin, which is a small town In Israel. Maccabi approached me two years ago to recruit me to the club. Maccabi is the biggest basketball club in Israel, and the club that could best make me a pro basketball player in the future,” he said.
This season, Menchel was not called upon to do as much scoring for the team at the ANGT Patras - given a general increase in talent level around him. After attempting 16.5 shots as well as 7.0 free throws a game in Belgrade, the guard averaged 10.3 shots and 1.0 free throw at the ANGT Patras and collected 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Maccabi ended up winning three games - including an upset of U18 FC Barcelona in the final group game to reach the first-place game, which Maccabi lost 74-62 against U18 Stelllazzurra Rome.
“The ANGT has its own game style. I learned that my first time around,” he said. “I’m very happy that I managed to have a big showing last year at the ANGT. This season we have a better team and played a better tournament as a team.”
Since Maccabi played better as a team, that helped the club earn a wildcard for the ANGT Finals.
One of the reasons for Menchel’s strong play this season as a floor leader - including 16 assists and just 1 turnover in 95 minutes - was his training this season with Maccabi’s first team.
“Practicing with Maccabi’s senior team this season is really a blessing. Playing with them is very challenging and making me better every practice,” he said.
Menchel mentioned one Maccabi player who has really helped him this season.
“James Nunnally and I are getting to talk quite a lot when I’m around with the senior team. He’s giving me a lot of tips on and off the court and I’m super thankful for that,” he said.
Besides playing a leading role at the ANGT Patras, the other big highlight this season for Menchel came on October 9, 2021, when he made his professional debut against Hapoel Haifa.
“When the coach called my name I immediately had a big smile on my face and was ready to play as hard as ever,” said Menchel, who missed his one three-point shot in going scoreless with 1 assist in 3 minutes of an 84-59 win. “The game went well. I didn’t get to score, but I definitely did my best out there and I am expecting more appearances in the future.”
Before any more games with Maccabi’s first team, Menchel hopes the club’s team play can help them be successful at the ANGT Finals.