Great Britain’s Under-18 Men and Women concluded their FIBA Europe Cup Qualification tournaments today in the beautiful Italian city of Rieti. Although neither side was able to produce a win over the weekend, the manner in which the teams played provided a healthy reminder of the positive steps the 3×3 game has taken for GB in recent years.
“I’m very proud of the players. It was our first 3×3 experience for these players at the international level against some tough opponents who we could tell are very well drilled and train specifically for the 3×3 game,” said Women’s Coach Renee Busch. “We improved over our two games and we’re taking away a lot of learning. We wish we had a couple more games here in Rieti but that’s the nature of knock-out qualifiers. We appreciate the opportunity to represent GB and we’re hungry to keep improving.”
Placed into Pool A with Serbia, Netherlands and Spain, finishing in the top two was always going to be a tough ask for the Men, though Paul Farrelly, Panagiotis Karras, Owen Mackle and Louis Sullivan battled hard throughout. After coming up just short in their opener against Netherlands to lose 11-14, GB gave highly fancied Serbia a fright before dropping off to a 15-21 defeat. Coming back on Sunday for their remaining pool game, GB were no match for Spain as they ran out to a 6-21 win.
On the Women’s side, Lilly Annim, Hannah Dawson, Rebecca Dwomoh and Jade Mbam were placed with a tough pair of sides in Germany and Spain. Although the top two teams from the trio would advance, a 4-15 loss to Germany and a 4-11 defeat by Spain would prove too much to overcome.
“This experience has been an amazing!” expressed Chanrwood’s Hannah Dawson after the tournament. “Although not the result we wanted, we all have definitely learnt so much and I am blessed to have been given this opportunity.”
“It’s been a really good experience,” added Dwomoh, echoing Dawson’s sentiments. “Although we lost we enjoyed ourselves so much. I wish we could’ve played more games as we got better as we played! We would love to do it again.”
For a full run down of the qualifying tournament from Rieti, please click HERE.