Preview: GB v Belarus
FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers
Sunday, November 17, 5pm
National Basketball Performance Centre, Manchester
GB return to their home court for the first time since their historic fourth-place finish at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019 against Belarus.
Chema Buceta squad go into the game on a high after an impressive campaign-opening win in Poland on Thursday.
THE OPPOSITION: belarus
Belarus are currently ranked 13th in the world (seventh in Europe), but are coming of a disappointing summer when they only managed to place in 13th at EuroBasket Women. This was after they failed to progress from the group stage after losses against Russia and Serbia. Head coach Nataliya Trafimava will be hoping that the team can return to form and qualify for Eurobasket 2021 as they try to get back to bronze medal standard which they achieved in 2007.
Belarus are 14-8 in Eurobasket Qualification games and Atlanta Dream (WNBA) player, Alexandria Bentley who lead them through Eurobasket averaging a team high 11.7 PPG on 30% shooting and 1.7 steals a game will hope her two-way talent can help build on this.
Bentley, will be hoping that Maryia Papova can build upon her Eurobasket board dominance were she averaged 8.3 RPG the seventh highest in the tournament. To go with Papova’s board dominance Belarus will be relying on the rim protection of power forward Anistasyia Verameyenka who denied 1.7 shots a game.
A preliminary roster of 14 players was named ahead of GB’s departure to Poland last week. Chantel Charles and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee have been added to the 12 who featured in the summer.
Coach Buceta said: “We face the challenge of a new European campaign with humility and focus on things that we can do, fighting wisely game by game, trusting and supporting each other all the way.
“This was our strategy to be able to compete at high level in last EuroBasket, and this has to be again our main weapon.
“This is only the beginning of a new campaign, but we want to start strong to be in a good position to qualify for next EuroBasket.”
HOW TO WATCH
Supporters can watch the game live via the BBC website here and via the red button or follow GB Basketball’s social updates. The live stats for the game are also available here.