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Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Saturday, 11 December 2010

Britain's women get tough group in EuroBasket finals

GB women
GB's women have proved competitive under Tom Maher

Great Britain's women have been drawn in the same group as World Championship runners-up the Czech Republic for the 2011 EuroBasket finals in Poland.

Belarus and Israel are also in the same group as coach Tom Maher's team.

GB beat Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine to win their qualifying group last summer and reach the finals for the first time in 54 years.

Both the men's and women's GB teams find out early next year if they can play as hosts in the 2012 Olympics.

Great Britain will open their campaign in Bydgoszcz on 18 June next year against group top seeds Belarus, a team that shocked Russia in last summer's World Championships in Brno, Czech Republic.

It's inarguable that we will be competing against some of the best in the world

GB centre Sarah McKay

The top three teams in GB's Group B will qualify for a second phase group of six, also in Bydgoszcz, with games against the likes of Group A powerhouses Russia and Turkey on offer.

"Obviously, the Czechs stand out because of how well they did at the Worlds last year," said GB centre Sarah McKay.

"Israel always has a strong team and we've had the good fortune of playing them the last 3 years in both friendlies and qualifying games.

"It's inarguable that we will be competing against some of the best in the world."

GB were placed among the fourth-seeded teams for the draw in Lodz, where the final eight of next year's tournament will be played, with the final taking place on 3 July.

"It will be important for us to do what we did last summer, and take each game and opponent one at a time," said McKay, who is currently recovering from knee surgery.

"Also we have to concentrate on us instead of worrying about what outcome is expected."

The early rounds will take place in Katowice and Bydgoszcz. All three venues were used when Poland hosted the men's EuroBasket in 2009.

Eight teams qualified for the finals through last summer's group stages, while the six European qualifiers for the World Championships were given byes to the finals.

One other qualifier will be decided by additional tournaments in Hungary and Italy in June.

Full EuroBasket draw:

Group A: Russia, Turkey, Lithuania, Slovakia

Group B: Belarus, Czech Republic, Israel, Great Britain

Group C: Spain, Poland, Montenegro, additional qualifier

Group D: France, Greece, Latvia, Croatia

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see also
GB women seal historic Euro place
26 Aug 10 |  Basketball
GB qualify with win over Bosnia
26 Aug 10 |  Basketball
GB women clinch win over Ukraine
20 Aug 10 |  Basketball
GB women can qualify, says Maher
14 Jul 10 |  Basketball
GB men stand out in double-header
14 Aug 10 |  Basketball

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