Less than a month after GB’s EuroBasket Women semi-final v France, the draw for the 2021 EuroBasket Women qualifiers took place in Munich as the teams begin preparations for the next set of qualifiers.
GB Women have been drawn in Group F, one of three groups to contain just three teams, alongside Belarus and Poland. With host countries France and Spain already qualified, the remaining 33 nations were drawn into nine groups.
It’s set to be a difficult group for GB, with Belarus finishing 13th at EuroBasket Women. The side had a tough campaign, having been drawn in the ‘group of death’ with Serbia, Russia and Belgium.
GB will begin qualification in November, travelling to face Poland in the first game before welcoming Belarus to Manchester the following week. The following November will see Poland travel to the UK before the qualifiers end in February 2021 as the team travel to Belarus.
Head Coach Chema Buceta believes GB have been drawn into a difficult group against two top teams and highlights the first round of qualifiers as crucial:
“I think the draw for the next EuroBasket is difficult as we play two very good teams in Belarus and Poland. In November we have two games and after that we will have only one in each window, November will be key as we play Poland away and Belarus at home. These games are very important to start in well in this competition. Belarus are a team who didn’t reach the top eight in EuroBasket they played Serbia, Russia and Belgium and Poland are a good team with a few teams in European competitions so we will need to be ready for these games to be able to qualify for the next EuroBasket.”
After GB’s historic fourth-placed finish at EuroBasket 2019, Buceta believes his side will be taken more seriously by other teams and insists they must be ready for this in order to win the group:
“Our group is very strong compared to other groups so we will probably have to do what we did in the last qualification and finish in first place in the group. This has to be the goal. Of course, after the good performance we had in EuroBasket the other teams will be ready for us. We are not an underdo anymore and people will take care of us very carefully so we have to prepare for these games very well. We will do the do the same in order to compete at the highest level and get the first spot.”
Further information regarding dates, venues and tickets will be confirmed in due course.