GB ‘underdogs’ ready to bite in Pau double-header
Great Britain’s Group G ‘underdogs’ will be ready to bare their teeth when EuroBasket action resumes next weekend.
GB face FIBA sixth-ranked France and Montenegro (26th) in the Pau ‘bubble’ in what were scheduled to be home games before Covid-19 played havoc with the sporting calendar.
But despite being rated 42 in the world, the team go into the pair of qualifiers for the 2022 finals in confident mood.
All four nations in the group have a 1-1 record and the Brits enter the fray with memories of February’s vital win over Germany fresh in their minds.
Confidence levels are high following a run of eight victories in 10 games and guard Ben Mockford, an integral part of the success against the Germans in Newcastle, is feeling upbeat.
He said: “Our identity and mindset is always as underdogs. We don’t have any NBA or EuroLeague players. But we do have a bunch of talented guys, willing to fight and give their all to represent their country.
“We truly believe that with that type of mentality, we can go out and beat anyone.
“France are ranked sixth in the world, Germany beat France and we beat Germany.
“At this level, every team is going to be tough. But anyone can be beaten, it’s about who brings it on the night.”
Veteran’s Teddy Okereafor and GB co-captain Dan Clark echo Mockford’s sentiments.
Guard Okereafor, newly signed with BBL outfit Bristol Flyers, said: “I think the best team on the day wins the game. Obviously, France are talented and Montenegro beat us already, so they’re going to be favourites but all we can do is focus on us and do the best we can to put ourselves in a position to win.“
And Clark feels GB are ready to meet the challenge of playing two top teams back to back.
“France and Montenegro are two very tough games,” he said. “They are both basketball nations with a great amount of history.
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“As we’ve proved in the last window, we can definitely compete and in most cases win games against teams at this level.
“We just have to be there on the night and perform to the best of our ability when the time comes which I’m sure we will be ready to do.
“We’re really looking forward to it. I hope they’re ready for it as well because it’s going to be a tough game for them.”
GB play France on 27 November and Montenegro on 29 November. Both games tip off at 17:00 GMT. The final 12-man rosters will be confirmed ahead of each game.