GB Women returned to their winning ways with a resounding victory over Thailand.
Written by Omer Hagomer
GBR won the tip off and Lucy Robinson carved her name on the scoresheet with 2 points. Thailand struggled to shoot over the height advantage of GBR. Both teams sacrificed some turnovers early on, but Jade Atkin got things back on track and extended the lead to 6 points.
Captain Sophie Carrigill and J. Atkin demonstrated excellent chemistry in transition and added more points. The lead was getting larger, so Thailand had no choice but to call for a timeout. Shots did not fall for Thailand while J. Atkin and Robinson found the back of the net every single time.
Carrigill used offensive rebounds to afford GBR a 16-point lead, she was accurate from the mid-range. Thailand desperately needed a response, at the end of the first quarter, GBR 23:0 THA.
Pimjai Putthanoi got the ball rolling for Thailand with 1/2 from the free throw line. Natnapa Ponin followed up with 2 points from the mid-range. J. Atkin lit the basket up in Dubai, she responded with 4 points inside the key and beat the shot clock in the process.
Thailand attempted to disrupt the momentum of GBR with picks on offense, but Robinson had the mismatch and fired for 2 points off the backboard. Heading into half-time, GBR 29:3 THA.
Thailand called for a timeout with 4 minutes remaining in the quarter. GBR made a few substitutions, Jude Hamer, Joy Haizelden, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, and Kayla Bell checked into the game. Hamer came off the bench and instantly scored 2 points.
Haizelden was sharp from the 45-degree angle and Fitzpatrick scored her first points in the tournament after a magnificent pick & roll. GBR were playing with confidence, at halftime, GBR 39:5 THA.
Fitzpatrick was poised for success in this game, she opened the third quarter with an offensive rebound and the put-back for 2 points. Hamer stole possession and scored a coast-to-coast layup.
Ponin was playing for honour, she launched a deep 2 to keep Thailand in the game. Thailand moved better offensively, as Pawarati Jala rewarded them with 2 points under the basket.
Hamer responded with 4 points after a quick sequence. Baskets were exchanged momentarily as shots were falling for Ponin, but Martin scored 2 outside the key and Haizelden made a rapid layup in transition. Thailand were getting physical, and Hamer punished them from the free throw line.
Bell was on the hunt for offensive rebounds, she rewarded herself with 2 points. Robinson replaced Hamer, and Adele Atkin checked in for Bell. Halfway through the third quarter, GBR 57:11 THA.
Thailand utilised screen shots as Anulak Sirinikorn minimised the deficit with 2 points. Robinson was an ominous presence under the basket heading into the last quarter. Ponin refused to accept defeat and made 2 from long-range.
Martin answered back with 2 from mid-range. A timeout was called as GBR were easily penetrating the defence of Thailand. Ellan Fraser subbed in for Martin. At the end of the quarter GBR 69:15 THA.
Ponin opened the fourth quarter with a long-range 2. Fitzpatrick and Haizelden executed a fantastic pick & roll for 2. Nothing but net for Fitzpatrick in this quarter, she certainly found her rhythm. Thailand made a few substitutions, while Fraser got on the scoreboard. The British defence was towering over Thailand.
J. Atkin and Charlotte Moore checked back into the game; J. Atkin continued to dictate the pace of the game with points and rebounds. Thailand pressed but GBR powered through, they called for a timeout with only a minute remaining in the game.
In summary, it was a tough mountain to climb for Thailand, they went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Europe, full-time, GBR 93:19 THA.
GB Women’s Siobhan Fitzpatrick commented:
“It was a great team performance; it was fantastic to see everybody get some good minutes and get to contribute and build for the next game tomorrow. I am really proud of this team for coming back after a really tough group and sticking together to put on a great display,”
Preparations for tomorrow:
“I think the most important thing for this team right now to prepare for tomorrow is that we all just stick together and remember that it is not necessarily about what happens but it is about preparing for the future tournaments that we are going to face, put on a great display and just play GB basketball.”
Moore, S. Carrigill (6), K. Bell (2), H. Freeman, J. Hamer (14), L. Robinson (20), S. Fitzpatrick (10), J. Haizelden (6), J. Atkin (27), M. Martin (4), E. Fraser (4), A. Atkin.