Jo Leedham feels Great Britain could be on a roll of destiny at EuroBasket.

Chema Buceta’s side meet Hungary today (11.30am, Freesports) for a spot in the semi-finals that would be beyond the wildest expectation of many.

Even, for a few of the GB’s squad who have cancelled pre-planned itineraries in favour of this astonishing journey.

Three wins out of four. Enough assuredness to have cancelled their initial three scheduled practices since arriving in Belgrade in favour of rest and video work.

With all the belief it takes to imagine an historic victory.

I feel like the stars are aligning for us,” Leedham, whose raw emotions here have captured hearts, said. “You can’t take any team lightly. The tournament has been crazy. Everyone has beaten everyone. No-one probably expected us to be here.

“But now we have to take Hungary. They’re. a great team. They finished top of their group. But we fancy our chances against anyone.”

The Hungarians arrive having played one game fewer by virtue of topping a pool in Nis that also compromised Slovenia, Italy and Turkey, none of whom have survived to this stage.

There should be no fear from Chema Buceta’s side, the marginal favourites.

Temi Fagbenle is a candidate for tournament MVP with a clip of 21 points and 6.8 rebounds per night this far. Her assignment in the post against Bernadett Hatar could be one of the deciding factors.

Karlie Samuelson has been spectacular. Her energy will be key in helping Rachael Vanderwal to shackle the Hungarian’s American born guard Yvonne Turner, who has helped her side to average 68.3 points per game on over 40 per cent from the field.

GB have notched 73.3 per contest, a number inflated by a fourth quarter blitz against Montenegro in Monday’s playoff duel. But it is defence on which they hang their hat. And in seven out of 12 quarters so far, Hungary have been held to 15 points or less. Meat and drink for Buceta.

There is also another incentive for his squad.

They want respect as well, abroad – and at home.

A firm rebuttal snub to the UK Sport funding chiefs who axed their funding when they were written off as no-hopers after the London 2012 Olympics.

To the opponents who expected GB to arrive at this tournament as cannon fodder.

To those chattering away about the glory days of netball – a sport where two wins are needed for a medal from what is effectively a field of four –  when it is harder, by comparison, to simply to get out of a first round group in international basketball.

The outcome of this run already, they hope? “That we take basketball seriously,” Eilidh Simpson declares. “That GB is a basketball nation. We can compete with those big basketball nations. Why can’t we get the support? We want to inspire the next generation. We want to inspire those young girls and show it can be done.”

There is a quiet confidence of ousting the inexperienced Hungarians with a win that would set up a semi against France or Belgium on Saturday.

No longer underdogs, but the Us against The World mentality that has served them well will remain, Simpson proclaims.

“There is no easy game against any of the 16 teams. But bring on Hungary. Whoever is in our way, they’re stopping us. So we have to get past them.”

EuroBasket quarter-finals (Belgrade). Great Britain v Hungary (11.30am), Spain v Russia (2pm), France v Belgium (5pm), Serbia v Sweden (7.30pm)

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Pic: MAP

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