Great Britain have completed their preparations for a third straight Eurobasket Women’s appearance, and coach Peter Buckle has outlined the keys to success ahead of today’s Group C clash with Russia in Szombathely.
The play-caller is demanding his team keep errors to a minimum and harness the spirit that has led to progression to the second phase of the last two Eurobasket Women tournaments.
“We’re glad to finally be here in Hungary and I know the players in particular are very much ready to go,” mused Buckle.
“We have got great teams to face and we will have to handle the pressure that comes our way for the full forty minutes in every game. However we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have to create our own pressure on others.
“We need to take care of the ball and play what you would describe as the ‘GB way’ and if we do that, then we will put ourselves in a good position.”
While Great Britain have generally been labelled as underdogs since their first apperance at a major tournament back at Eurobasket Women in 2011, there is an air of unpredictability around what might unfold in Group C.
The unpredictability has certainly aided GB ahead of their game with the Russians as Buckle’s side sat out day one while the other teams, including Russia played.
“Russia are always a tough opponent and that is absolutely going to be the case again – even if they do have a few new and younger players on their team,” Buckle said. “Four games in as many days is going to be challenging but you can’t have any holding back or half measures.
“We have to put our focus onto each game as they come around, starting with Russia and deal with the schedule and situation on a step-by-step basis. It is the right way to do things and the only way to do things.”
2011 winners Russia were dumped out in first round, two years ago, but are desperate to prove their worth as a women’s basketball powerhouse again. They certainly made a statement of intent on day one by easing past Croatia 83-62.
The group’s other game saw Serbia beat Latvia 76-60.