CORE CAN STRENGTHEN US: BUCETA

Great Britain coach Jose Maria Buceta insists the brevity of his preparation training camp won’t hinder his team’s chances of getting their EuroBasket qualifying campaign off to a winning start against Montenegro on Saturday.

A squad of 12 will fly out to Podgorica on Thursday following a single round of cuts after four days of practice.

But even with American-based centre Temi Fagbenle and the injured Erin McGarrachan missing the trip, Buceta believes his experienced core will ensure GB hit the ground running.

“We have some experienced players who have played at EuroBasket Women Final Round more than once – as well as the Olympics – and so they will obviously be the hugely important,” he said.

“While we have many young players with so much talent, they do need time and that is something which we don’t necessarily have in the current framework of these short qualification windows.

“However, it is very important they are ready to contribute and they demonstrate very clearly that the future is positive for GB Women.”

Following their last-placed finish at EuroBasket in Hungary, Buceta has been left to pick up the pieces left by predecessor Peter Buckle in rebuilding confidence within the squad and renewing faith outside.

However the former Spain playcaller claims that the slump can be quickly turned into an ascent.

“I know about talent in many different countries and I am sure from what I have seen so far, that the talent in Britain is at a good level,” he said, in a statement issued by British Basketball.

“The main priority for us across this next week or so is to get the maximum performance from the team during these two games against Montenegro and Italy.”

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