GB host Canada Basketball in a double-header this week before flying off to Madrid for the final warm up games, then on to Riga for FIBA Women’s EuroBasket. Whilst Tuesday night’s game is closed-door, Wednesday’s game is open to the public and ahead of the game GB Basketball had a chat with Eilidh Simpson about all things GB.
With Karlie Samuelson and Temi Fagbenle recently joining up with the group from the WNBA, Eilidh explains that there is a really good atmosphere amongst the group:
“The feelings in camp are very positive, we have everyone here now. The next week of practice is going to be very important for our preparation. It’s great to be back with the girls, we have a great group and connect really well together.”
GB fell to Slovenia and Sweden in their first set of warm up games, although Eilidh believes learning and improving from the games matters more than the result:
“We had to tough games in Slovenia against two very solid opponents. We had only been together five days before our first match. We knew it was going to be tough. That’s why we play these games, so we can learn and improve. The coaches will have studied the game tapes and know the area we need to improve on.”
With several of Chema Buceta’s squad playing across Europe, the squad have a good understanding of the different styles of play they will come up against in Latvia:
“Of course, the more experience at this level the better. On our team we have many players that play Eurocup and Euroleague so they play against many of these players during the year. Of course that helps understanding the tendencies of our opponents and the style of their play.”
With a tough group featuring Spain, Ukraine and Latvia, Eilidh has identified the first game against the hosts as a tough challenge for the squad, although she’s looking forward to it:
“That first game against Latvia will be huge. I’m sure it will be a packed arena with thousands of screaming Latvians. It will be a battle for 40 mins with amazing atmosphere!”
With a lot of competition for places both in the final roster and starting five, Eilidh’s aim is just to be ready to do whatever is needed from her:
“I hope to help the team in any way I can. Bring energy from the bench, shoot when I’m open and play solid defense. Anything the team needs from me”
Tickets for tomorrow night’s game can still be purchased online here, with discounts available for families and groups.