Great Britain Senior Women sealed their place at EuroBasket Women 2019 in Serbia and Latvia following a resounding 83-42 win over Portugal at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Belle Vue, Manchester on Wednesday night.
— Hoopsfix Women (@HoopsfixWomen) November 22, 2018
With second placed Greece beating Israel earlier in the day in the other qualifying game in GB’s group, the pressure was on for coach Chema Buceta and his side to deliver the goods in front of a passionate home crowd.
And Great Britain did just that – leading from start to finish, shooting an efficient 49 percent on the night, holding Portugal to just 25 percent from the field.
I never thought i would get the chance to play in another @EuroBasketWomen ..feels like a dream..through all the struggles on and off the court, this group made it happen.i have never been so happy playing this game i love than with this group! MAGIC !! Feeling amazing😃🥰💪🇬🇧🏀 pic.twitter.com/GxlVZeCl8C
— Joey Leedham-Warner OLY (@joey_leedham13) November 22, 2018
The win meant GB finish with a 5-1 record atop of Group D. Rachael Vanderwal led all scorers for Great Britain with 21 points, which included a perfect 5/5 from three-point land. Jo Leedham flirted with a triple-double, with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists and Temi Fagbenle added 17 points.
On her 101st and final cap, Azania Stewart had 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks before coming off for the last time in a GB uniform with 1:21 remaining to a standing ovation from the crowd in Manchester.
GB Head Coach Jose Maria Buceta commented:
“I think this is a very happy day, because we reached our goal, but in a way sad, because this is Azania’s last game. It’s great to get a win and now we look forward to EuroBasket in 2019.”
Mission accomplished! We booked our ticket to @EuroBasketWomen! So proud of this team, and beyond happy that we are back competing with the best. Playing together with so much passion, pride and grit, we have done it! I love this squad. 🇬🇧 #magic pic.twitter.com/EQf39qvTtp
— Rachael Vanderwal OLY (@rachvanderwal) November 22, 2018
Image Credit: Mansoor Ahmed/Ahmedphotos