• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

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Women’s British Basketball League: WBBL players past and present enjoy historic success with Great Britain

There were celebrations in Latvia last night as the Great Britain senior side moved into the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket Quarter-Finals for the very first time.
More than half of the roster in Riga are current or former WBBL players and have helped the team rack up three wins from their four outings so far in the competition. 

The current WBBL players on the roster include the likes of Janice Monakana (Suns), Georgia Jones (Mystics), Stef Collins (Archers) and Mollie Campbell (Riders).

Great Britain completed the win they needed against Montenegro to move to the last and main phase of the competition in Belgrade, Serbia.

They will match-up with Hungary on Thursday and as well as advancing to the Semi-Finals and more history if they chalk up another victory, they would also book their ticket for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next February for Tokyo 2020.

Even if they were to lose the Quarter-Final, they would still have an opportunity to bounce back and reach the OQT.

It was EuroLeague Women trio Karlie Samuelson, Temi Fagbenle and Jo Leedham who led the way in the 92-71 success against Montenegro. 

Samuelson shot the lights out and made 8 of 11 from the field en-route to a stunning 28 points. Fagbenle, the 2018-19 Polish League MVP was just as effective as she corralled 29 points, while Leedham came up with the all-action 13 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals. 

There was also a stellar contribution from Rachael Vanderwal who handed out 9 assists in addition to her 15 points.

“We’re going to the Quarter-Finals and it’s amazing,” enthused the guard.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and we’re just so happy. We can only stop ourselves now.”

Head coach Chema Buceta added: “It was a very difficult games because the responsibility was high as a historical game to reach the top 8 and the Quarter-Final. Maybe that made us tense in the first-half.  
“We have proven in this tournament that we are able to come back (in games). One of the strengths of this team is to stay focused and always overcome the difficult moments in games,” insisted the play-caller.
Fans can follow all the action and updates from the tournament via the official website www.fiba.basketball/womenseurobasket/2019 and by following #EuroBasketWomen across social channels.