Thursday, 8 April 2010

GB announce summer schedule, venues

For the first time the GB Standard Life men's and women's teams will share venues after British Basketball confirmed that they will be staging two double headers this summer as both sides embark on important campaigns as they look to take the next steps towards London 2012.

The first of the two double headers will take place on August 14 at the NIA in Birmingham, when the men take on Ukraine and the women take on Slovakia. The second double header will be staged at Liverpool's Echo Arena on August 26, when Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany are the respective opposition.

The remaining home games of the 2010 Eurobasket qualifying campaign, will see the men's team play at the new sports facility at Northumbria University in Newcastle as well as a further game at the NIA, whilst the women will play at Surrey University.

Chris Spice, British Basketball Performance Director, believes the double headers are a great opportunity for the sport.

"It is fantastic that we have been able to incorporate two double headers into the men's and women's schedule, this is something we have been considering for a number of years," he said. "We fully believe that the double headers will attract huge public interest in Birmingham and Liverpool to make it a very positive experience for our teams.

"Both programmes will have a challenging Eurobasket qualifying campaign, but through the selection of these venues, we are providing a great platform for the teams to go out and perform on the court.

"In recent years we have enjoyed competing at the NIA and the Echo Arena, so I am sure this year will be no different. We are especially looking forward to be heading to the new venues at Surrey University and Newcastle, the latter of which is such a strong basketball area and of course boasts current BBL champions the Newcastle Eagles."

GB Men's Head Coach, Chris Finch, who is currently having a very successful season in the NBA D-League with Rio Grande Valley, has already started to plan for the summer campaign.

"Having the venues confirmed is the next step in our preparation towards what will be a very tough but exciting campaign. I am really looking forward to being at the NIA and the Echo Arena, which proved to be very positive experiences in the 2008 campaign, when we won both games.

"Myself and the extended coaching team are currently working hard to identify the correct players for the roster which will put us in a position whereby we are capable of qualifying for the 2011 Eurobasket Finals."

Tom Maher, GB Women's Head Coach, who will be taking charge of his first competitive Eurobasket qualifying campaign, said: "I think the opportunity for the women to compete at the big venues is invaluable experience, and I am excited about the prospect of sharing the court with the men's team. Since joining up with British Basketball, I have been pleased with the quality of players available for selection, so I think we should look forward to the upcoming campaign with optimism."

Away venues for both teams have to be confirmed, the men's team will travel to Hungary (2 Aug), Bosnia & Herzegovina (11 Aug), Macedonia (23 Aug) and Ukraine (29 Aug) to finish the campaign. The Women take on Germany (17 Aug), Slovak Republic (23 Aug) and Ukraine (29 Aug).

Schedule - Home
8 August 2010 - GB Standard Life Men v Macedonia, Northumbria University
14 August 2010 - GB Standard Life Women v Slovakia / GB Standard Life Men v Ukraine, NIA Birmingham
17 August 2010 - GB Standard Life Men v Hungary, NIA Birmingham
20 August 2010 - GB Standard Life Women v Ukraine, Surrey University
26 August 2010 - GB Standard Life Women v Germany / GB Standard Life Men v Bosnia & Herzegovina, Echo Arena, Liverpool


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