Bristol Flyers coach Andreas Kapoulas will be looking to put the strongest squad that he can together for next year’s Commonwealth Games as he takes charge of the England national team.
But the squad will come at a price for him – the majority of British Basketball League clubs – and maybe a few clubs from the second tier National Basketball League as the Games take place on Australian Gold Coast from April 4 to the 15th, 2018, which lands in the final weeks of the BBL regular season.
Kapoulas, who steered the Great Britain under-20s to promotion from Division B in the summer is aware that the BBL will be affected during ths period but also added that even with him in Australia and Glasgow Rocks coach Tony Garbelotto also out there coaching Scotland, it provides the league’s lesser players to gain more minutes and impress during the business end of the domestic campaign.
“Of course it will be hard, I will be in Australia and perhaps some of the players will be with me also,” Kapoulas said.
“For me, I look at this from a wider view. The exposure of the sport for one, as we had a good summer with the national teams and the senior team were back at Eurobasket plus these Commonwealth Games will be televised as well. It will give the players a sense of pride at representing their national side and I want them to know and feel that.
“And also, I think the BBL and maybe the NBL will be fine as squads will use the players that do not play as much more time and it gives them their big chance to break out and even I will be looking at that with Bristol while I’m out there.
The Greek-born tactician concedes that time has not been on his side though, with the Commonwealth Games just five months away and lots to do in terms of getting a squad together plus concentrating on the BBL season, where the Flyers are currently lying in sixth on a 3-2 mark.
Kapoulas though seems to have prepared well during the short space of time as he looks to recruit mainly from the BBL but just in case, also the second tier NBL, in the event of certain players not being available.
He does state that the teams from the BBL seem to be on board.
“It’s something that we are working on,” Kapoulas explained. “I think the BBL clubs want to support it and the response from the people that I want involved has mainly been positive. The only problem is that the Commonwealth Games comes at a bad time as the league is in full swing and especially in March, April time, some of the most important games are during that time so for those three weeks, it’s always going to be a challenge.
“Also, and I’m not going specifically into names, but we have looked at the National Basketball League and the British Basketball scene on the whole because there is talent on show and having one or two players would be good but right now it’s about talking and working with the domestic clubs as we are a bit late with this process so we’re trying to work through it and make the best out of the situation.
“The end goal is to put a team on the floor that can make the country proud and compete for a medal which we have every chance of doing.”
The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth, which is an intergovernmental organisation of 52 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire. Australia, New Zealand, India, England, South Africa and Pakistan are the most notable Commonwealth nations with its headquarters based in London.