Chema Buceta’s side concluded their Women’s EuroBasket preparations this evening in Bourg-en-Bresse against a talented French National Team who currently rank as the sixth-best side in the world.
After a behind-closed-doors scrimmage on Friday night where Greet Britain acquitted themselves very well against a deep France team, narrowly losing out in a great encounter, GB were tasked with doing it all again in front of a capacity crowd this evening in the final preparation game for both sides.
An even start to the contest early in the first quarter saw both sides pick up where they’d left off on Friday night, with a highly competitive and physical battle taking place across full court – more befitting of a knockout game than a friendly encounter.
The French threw the first punch as they closed the opening quarter strongly and carried momentum into the start of the second, but GB battled well against an elite side backed by a hostile crowd going into halftime, showing plenty of promise and positive play in the face of a stern test.
Good interior play was the most fruitful source of points for GB throughout the contest, led by Kristine Anigwe’s 15 points and six rebounds on the night, but the three-point shot was also falling for the guards as Holly Winterburn and Sydney Wallace shot a combined five makes from 11 attempts in the contest.
It was another valuable opportunity for Coach Buceta to experiment with rotations, with Ire Ozzy-Momodu in particular offering a positive showing off the bench, full of hustle and energy off the bench, with five points and four rebounds to show for 12 minutes of work.
The hosts ran out eventual 76-54 winners, with both sides now travelling to Ljubljana where they will meet again in Group D of Women’s EuroBasket 2023.
Following the conclusion of the team’s trip to France, Coach Buceta said:
“These two games against France have been very important for our preparations, playing one of the best teams in the world. It has been very useful for us to understand what our level is now and where we can improve to become even better before EuroBasket. We will be ready for the beginning of the competition next week and we’re excited for the challenge.
“It was very positive to see all of the players involved in both games, highly committed to each other and playing hard. We had very good moments on both ends of the floor and seeing the things we’ve worked on in practice translate to the floor.
“We know our preparations haven’t been that long, but I’ve been very pleased with how quickly we’ve come together. We have an important few days ahead of us now to improve even further ahead of EuroBasket.”