Great Britain coach Chema Buceta urged British basketball’s powerbrokers and the sport’s funding authorities to capitalise on his team’s amazing run to the last four of EuroBasket.

Their quest to play for the title in Belgrade was ended in a 63-56 defeat in last night’s semi-final against France.

It leaves GB to play off against Serbia for third place today (4.30pm BST) as well as to prepare for next February’s Olympic qualifiers.

But within a sport known for its inability to set aside its politics and work together for the common good, and in a national system famous for demanding grand strategic visions, Buceta says now is the time to act or any momentum gained will be put at risk.

“In Great Britain they were talking about making a plan for Olympic Games in 2028,” the Spaniard said. “We are one game away from 2020 at this moment, one game in the Olympic qualifiers. It is important to think in the future and not just in the present.

“We have to do something. These girls did their job and they showed basketball in Great Britain can be a key sport. It has competitors: netball, badminton, hockey, whatever. But basketball can be with these sports and there is room there for us.”

Meanwhile France, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine have been confirmed as the candidate hosts of EuroBasket Women 2021. Two co-hosts will be announced on July 15.

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