ACHARA CAN BE GB LEADER OF THE PACK

joe prunty 568Kieron Achara is set for a major role in Great Britain’s EuroBasket bid in Slovenia next month, according to new head coach Joe Prunty.

The American takes charge for the first time in today’s friendly with Puerto Rico in London. And with several young prospects handed their chance to impress, Prunty admits he is pitching his side in at the deep end after just one week of training camp.

However he has praised 30-year-old Achara – who wins his 50th cap – for setting the tone with the GB rookies.

“Kieron will be very good,” Prunty said. “He’s extremely vocal on and off the court. He’s good that way, not just with helping the younger players who are trying to make the GB team for the first time, but all the players. And he’s willing to do what the teams needs for us to be successful.

“Obviously, he can shoot the ball extremely well. It’s only been a few practices but I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen.”

Prunty may look to cut his squad down from the initial 17 this week. But he is hoping a weakened Puerto Rican side can ease his side into the fray.

He said: “I’m looking for us to get comfortable as quickly as possible and to go out and compete. Like most people, any game we line up in, I’m expecting us to win.”

Meanwhile Alex Marcotullio says he’s open to a move to Glasgow Rocks if they can give him a chance to impress in the professional ranks.

The American-born guard, who qualifies for GB through his Dumbarton-born mother Loretta, is in line to win his second cap in tomorrow’s friendly with Puerto Rico in London.

After a four-season stint at Northwestern University in Chicago, the 22-year-old has come onto the radar of Rocks coach Sterling Davis.

And Marcotullio says all offers will be considered.

He said: “Wherever I go, I’m going to try and get in there and perform to the best of my abilities.

“I’ve heard some talk about Glasgow but there’s no pressure on me to go there or start off there. But I love Scotland and going back to my roots would be a great thing.”

Marcotullio says the battle for spots in the squad for next month’s EuroBasket finals has everyone fired up.

He said: “It’s been a great start for me and the team. Hopefully I keep working to the point where I push myself onto the roster of 12 come a few weeks time.”

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