Great Britain’s women have learnt their fate for next summer’s Eurobasket finals after the draw took place in Lodz, Poland.

Tom Maher’s side emerged in Group B, placed with Belarus, Israel and world championship runners-up, the Czech Republic, in the first round of the competition in Bydgoszcz.

“All 15 teams who were in the draw today are top standard so we were going to be up against the best whoever we drew,” said Maher.

“At this level all the games are tough but I am happy with Group B as I think it will provide a challenging and exciting competition.”

Fifteen teams have already qualified for Europe’s top basketball tournament while a sixteenth participating nation will be decided through the Additional Qualifying Tournaments, next spring.

GB, who are taking part for the first time, were in the lowest group of seeds and will not relish the prospect of taking on the Czechs, who shone in this year’s world’s until they succumbed to the USA in the final. They will open their challenge against world semi-finallists Belarus on June 18.

“We are definitely ready to take the next step in playing at such a prestigious event against the best teams in Europe,” said GB guard Steph Collins.

“We have made significant strides over the past few summers and have seen how important preparation is before these competitions, as it proved to be this summer in the qualifiers. Our draw against, Czech Republic, Israel, and Belarus, will certainly be a challenging test for us, as these teams have a history of performing well at this level, but with our preparation we will strive to match this year’s fantastic summer.”

Group A: Russia, Turkey, Lithuania, Slovakia (in Bydgoszcz)

Group B: Belarus, Czech Republic, Israel and Great Britain (Bydgoszcz)

Group C: Spain, Poland, Montenegro, qualifier (Katowice)

Group D: France, Greece, Latvia, Croatia (Katowice)

EuroBasket Women 2011 will be organised from June 18 to July 3, in the Polish cities of Katowice and Bydgoszcz for the First and Second Round and Lodz for the Final Round.

All three venues were host cities in EuroBasket 2009. Bydgoszcz and Lodz hosted the Qualifying Round and Katowice was the stage for the Final Round.

The format of the competition remains the same as it was for EuroBasket Women 2009, with 16 teams divided in four groups of four for the First Round.

Hungary and Italy will organise the two Additional Qualifying Tournaments of EuroBasket Women 2011.

Hungary will host Group A (Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands and Ukraine) in Sopron while Italy will organise Group B (Serbia, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania) in Taranto.

Both round-robin groups will be staged June 3-8 next year. The winners of the two groups will then play each other in home and away games, on June 12 and 15, with the winner securing the last EuroBasket Women 2011 spot.

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