GB DRUB ALBANIA FOR FIRST WIN

Great Britain hammered hapless Albania 122-36 in their EuroBasket Women qualifier in Manchester on Saturday.

It gave coach Chema Buceta the maiden victory of his reign and keeps alive their slender hopes of reaching next summer’s finals in the Czech Republic.

The hosts – led by 22 points from Jo Leedham – were never remotely troubled after racing into a 12-0 lead at the outset.

With Mollie Campbell earning her first senior cap, all 12 GB players scored in the game with a 63-22 half-time cushion swiftly expanded in the inaugural game at the new Basketball England Performance Centre at Belle Vue.

And Ella Clark added 15 points and 17 rebounds as the visitors, who remain winless, were soundly thrashed.

(Photos: Mansoor Ahmed)

(Photos: Mansoor Ahmed)

“It is never easy to play in games like this when the other team is not so strong, but we respected them,” Buceta said. “We won the game and it is a good feeling to be winning again and especially when you have been doing things well.

“The team kept their concentration for most of the time despite the score, which is not very easy and we did our job.”

Elsewhere in Group C, Montenegro – who visit Manchester on Wednesday – were edged out 57-56 by Italy with Katrin Ress capping a late rally by the hosts in Schio with a decisive jumper with four seconds left.

Chantelle Handy is expected to return against the Montenegrins.

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