Marc Steutel wants to see a rocking Vertu Motors Arena when his Great Britain side host Greece in Newcastle in their FIBA World Cup Qualifier late this month.
The acting GB head coach believes there has never been a better time to get behind British basketball and help fire the resurgent men’s national team towards glory at the home of the Newcastle Eagles.
GB tackle a Greek side ranked 10th in the world in the first home international fixture since Steutel anchored a thrilling win against Germany on Tyneside in February 2020.
And told the Eagles website: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back at the home of Newcastle Eagles and a place synonymous with basketball success.
“Last time out — just before the pandemic — we played in front of a packed house and got the win against Germany that ultimately helped us to qualify for next year’s EuroBasket.
“The home support that night really spurred us on in the last 15 minutes and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll get the backing of another sell-out North East crowd.”
GB host the Greeks on November 25 in what promises to be a fascinating clash of styles between the two World Cup Group B rivals.
And a mouthwatering fixture doubles up as a precursor for next September’s Eurobasket tournament where the two teams have been drawn together in Group C.
“The vibe and the buy-in from the British players has never been better,” added Steutel, who continues to deputise for US-based head coach Nate Reinking.
“The camaraderie and the sense of a collective purpose is something to admire and it’s a great time to get behind a committed group of players who are proud to represent their country.
“If people haven’t had the chance to see this evolving team before then there’s never been a better chance.“
Steutel can’t wait to pit his wits against a Greek side ranked 32 places higher than their fast-improving hosts.
“They’ve got a new head coach who will be looking to make an impression after stepping up from an assistant’s role,” added Steutel.
“And we’re expecting a typically well-drilled side playing disciplined, tactical basketball.
“They’ll use their pace, get into space and guard the ball screen very effectively.
“We’ll have to be disruptive defensively and limit the ways they try to find an advantage.
“We need to make sure we dictate the game but I’m expecting a fascinating tactical battle.”
Tickets for GB vs Greece at the Vertu Motors Arena on 25 November are on sale from the Newcastle Eagles Box Office.