BOATENG’S GOOD VIBES OFF NEW COACH PRUNTY

joe Prunty practice 568New Great Britain head coach Joe Prunty has hit the ground running in his new job, according to veteran centre Eric Boateng.

The American will get a first look at his side in action when they take on Puerto Rico on Sunday in London, following eight days of practice at the team’s training camp in Staffordshire.

It sets the clock ticking in earnest for next month’s EuroBasket in Slovenia but Prunty has already pushed his 17 players to get to grips with his offensive and defensive schemes.

The mood appears upbeat with the rookie playcaller’s relaxed and personable approach marking a change of tack from the remote style employed by predecessor Chris Finch.

And despite his lack of experience in charge, Boateng believes the newcomer has immediately slotted into the role.

“He’s transitioned in well,” said the Londoner. “We’re moving in the right direction and we’re following his vision and his instruction. We’re working hard to make that happen.

“He has his philosophy on offence and defence which he wants us to play. We have to get used to that quickly, as well as understanding his plays.”

Boateng comes off a successful season in the German BBL with New Yorker  Phantoms. “My agent’s still talking to them,” he says of a return.

However an imposing European campaign would do his stock no harm.

Now, with Drew Sullivan, one of only two remnants from the GB season of 2006, the 27-year-old is among the familiar faces who will be leaned on to step up in the absences of Luol Deng, Joel Freeland and Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“It’s another big summer for us,” Boateng underlined.

“We’re all going to have to lead in our own right to make this a success. If I can contribute, then great.

“But it’s going to be a team effort. We’ve seen that in practices.”

Prunty might get an easier test than forecast for a game at the Copper Box which is likely to be a 6000 sell-out.

Puerto Rico coach Carlos Calcano, preparing for the forthcoming FIBA Americas Championships, has named a largely second-string squad for their UK visit after a brief camp in Florida.

Puerto Rico: Gabriel Belardo, Javier Gonzalez, Carlos Emory, Jezreel De Jesus, Raul Orta, Luis Damian Morales, Nathaniel Butler, Chris Gaston, Gabriel Colon, Luis Hernandez,  Angel Rosa, Manuel De Jesus

 

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