Preview: U18 Men European Championships
GB Under-18 Men take on Turkey in their first Group A game on Saturday evening evening at the Portaria Hall in Volos, Greece.
Head Coach Alan Keane named his final 12 players prior to the trip who will represent GB at this Summer’s FIBA U18 European Championships and take on the Turks, Serbia and Germany in the initial group stage.
The Serbians will undoubtedly be the toughest test in the group with the team looking for a third consecutive championship.
“Who wouldn’t want to play Serbia in your opening game and then follow that up with games against Turkey and Germany the following two days?” said Keane. “We have already scouted all three teams in depth either from last years Would Championships U17 and last year U16 Euros to identify returning coaches and players.”
“It is incredibly exciting to see the calibre we are going against. We will approach these three games as we plan to approach everything – prepared, excited and committed. That is what we need to be successful!”
The players are representing clubs are across the UK, with Barking Abbey, Reading Rockets, Myerscough, Ipswich and Newcastle Eagles amongst those with individuals on the roster. The squad also travelled to France as part of preparations for the tournament, playing the hosts and training in Lyon.
Keane believes the squad has made progress during the training camp and is ready to get stuck into competitive action:
“Once again it is pure joy to work with such a committed group of players and staff. Three games in France last week gave us a good benchmark of where we are. It also doesn’t give us much time to build what we need and are capable to build but this group of players have taken big steps in the time we have been together. For many division A basketball is a world unknown to them unless you have played there previously, however when one truly focuses on the team and gives everything you have to offer then the competition can be exciting, surprising and unpredictable. We will approach each day as we do each day in camp and that is 100% commitment to the choices we make on and off the court. From there the score will take care of itself.”
July 27: GB v Turkey, 2.45pm
July 28: GB v Serbia, 2.45pm
July 29: GB v Germany, 12.30pm
The game against Turkey will tip-off at 2:45pm BST on Saturday and will be available to watch via live streaming on GB Facebook the Fiba website and YouTube.