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BRITAIN TO FACE USA IN OLYMPIC TUNE-UPS

Posted in: Team GB by . March 22, 2011 / 10:27

Great Britain men’s and women’s basketball teams will play the USA in Manchester in pre-Olympic warm-ups next year, it has been confirmed.

The friendlies against the reigning Olympic champions, to be staged in July 2012 at the MEN Arena, will give the two national sides the strongest possible test as they prepare for London 2012.

“I cannot think of a more exciting prospect for fans in the UK than to see Great Britain play the USA Basketball men’s national team in Manchester in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics,” said GB forward Luol Deng.

The game featuring the men's national teams will be part of the Global Community Cup, which includes all USA Basketball men's national team games played outside of formal international competitions. 


“The USA–Great Britain games in Manchester will be a terrific prelude to the 2012 London Olympic Games,” said USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

  “The games are key components in the 2012 training plans for the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national teams. I’m sure that both USA teams will feature some of basketball’s best players and coaches, and I’m confident the games will be memorable events for all basketball fans.”

Meanwhile GB coach Chris Finch believes Ben Gordon will suit up for Eurobasket this summer, despite claims he might miss the tournament..

The Detroit Pistons guard – along with Malaga centre Robert Archibald – have been considered as doubts with both players preparing for the birth of their first children.

However, Finch is hoping for a full squad for Lithuania.

"I just saw Ben in San Antonio and I think we have a really good chance to have Ben this summer," he told ESPN.com. "Kelenna Azubuike still doesn't have a [UK] passport but is inching closer to it. He was born in London, and we believe he's entitled to a passport and will eventually get the passport.

"This might be our chance this summer [at Eurobasket 2011 in Lithuania] to put our best team on the floor."

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