History in the making as GB men qualify for a fourth consecutive gold medal game
The GB men’s team tonight (Wednesday 28 June) qualified for a place at their fourth consecutive European Championships gold medal game.
In what will be the ultimate rematch the GB men will face Turkey at the Friday night (30 June) European Championship’s final. The long standing rivalry between the two teams is well established; with Turkey being the only team to defeat GB in the pool stages of the 2017 Europeans, and the British team claiming bronze medal glory against Turkey in over-time at Rio.
The GB squad have their sights firmly set on bringing home their fourth European gold medal, a feat never achieved by a GB team and only once achieved by France in 1991.
The GB men and women’s team both faced the Netherlands at the Championships semi-finals with the men’s team battling hard to secure the win.
In what was an incredibly close game our men had to dig deep to keep the Dutch team at bay as the Netherlands launched an aggressive offensive attack in the fourth quarter in an attempt to damage GB’s advantage. Our men held onto their lead and ultimately claimed the win 72-55.
The GB women also faced long-time foe the Netherlands in their semi-final game. The GB squad dominated the game for the first two quarters bringing their A game to the Tenerife court. Moving about the court as a tight cohesive team our women intimidated the Dutch and were leading at half time. However, the Rio Bronze Medalling Netherlands team found their form from the outset of the third quarter and the loss sees our women take on France in the Bronze medal game on Friday 30 June at 10am.
Although the elusive gold medal game is just out of our women’s reach, the Dutch and German teams are certain to be aware of the GB squad’s future potential.
The GB men’s win will also see Leigh lad, GB #12 Gregg Warburton, compete in his second major international wheelchair basketball final in just two weeks.
Warburton, captained the GB junior team to win the U23 World Championships in Toronto, a historic win and one not realised by a GB team before. Again hoping to make history with the GB men Gregg will join his team in the European Championship final.
Paul Davies, GB Performance Director commented:
“Both the men and women’s games will be tough. Our women have already beaten the French team during the pool stages of this tournament but that by no means makes the game outcome a certainty. This will be the fifth time GB will meet France at a European’s bronze medal game and a medal our women will want to win.
The men’s gold medal game will be a match to watch. Two of wheelchair basketball’s superpowers no doubt engaging in a superb conclusion to this year’s European Championships.”
Friday 30 June 2017:
Men: GBR v TUR
Women: GBR v FRA