MASON SAYS GB CAN STUN EUROPE

Veteran guard Ros Mason believes the Great Britain’s women could be a surprise package at next month’s Eurobasket finals in Poland.

Mason, a surprise omission from last summer’s final roster, is currently in training camp in Guildford preparing for the British Basketball Invitational Tournament that will see the hosts take on Germany, Latvia, and Cuba in Guildford starting on Thursday.

And she believes coach Tom Maher has the squad fit and ready to go.

“We are feeling great and training well,” she said. “Our coach is determined to get the best out of each player and we are getting better with every session. Everything is 100 per cent and every time we step on the floor, it’s “go, go, go.”

“This is the strongest team we have had. We have earned the right to be in Poland. We feel we are well matched with all the teams in our group and we can give all of them a good game. We respect them all but we have nothing to fear if we play to our full potential.”

The 32-year-old (above left), who played for Solna Vikings in Sweden last season, insists Great Britain are hungry to perform well in Europe’s leading international women’s basketball competition.

“Of course, it was great to qualify for the Eurobasket but we are not just going there to make up the numbers. Israel are good but we felt we matched them when we played them.

“There are some good teams but we are confident. Once you are on the floor, you have deal with the player who is pitted against and it’s all about winning that battle.”

“The invitational tournament that is coming up will be a good test of where we stand. Obviously, the WNBA is very strong and the game against Atlanta Dream will also be a good challenge.

Mason also pointed out that the fact of already being qualified for next year’s Olympics has provided a huge lift for the team and motivated every player to prove their worth.

 

“Getting the decision from FIBA to play at the London Olympics has given everyone a real boost. We had to prove we are competitive and we believe we can now go to Poland and give the top teams a run for their money.”

Meanwhile GB forward Kim Butler (pictured right) says the side are comfortable with their status as rank outsiders, headed into their first-ever major finals.

“We’re happy to be underdogs, we always have been, but we proved ourselves last year by not just qualifying but by winning our group as well,” the Ibiza forward told the GB website. “We’re building our reputation, we don’t see it as a negative thing, we’re excited about Eurobasket.

“The Olympics are always in the back of my mind, and we need to work a little bit harder. It’s always a great thing to represent your country whether it’s in the European Championship or Olympics. We put ourselves on the map last year, and I think we’re ready to make our name for ourselves again this year.”

 

Pics: FIBA/ Dan Wooller/wooller.com

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