Great Britain couldn’t sign off with a maiden medal at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019, but leave Belgrade proud of an amazing and historic success.
Missing out on the bronze medal to local favorites Serbia who secured a comfortable 81-55 success, Chema Buceta and his team can reflect not only on their best ever finish by some distance, but a place in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
Centre Temi Fagbenle was also recognised for her amazing contribution by being named to the Tournament All-Star Five.
Having being crowned the MVP of the Polish League with CCC Polkowice, the former WNBA champion can now reflect fondly on another deserved gong.
She led the tournament in scoring with 20.9 points per game and also averaged 6.7 boards per outing.
Fagbenle helped Great Britain to make history as they reached the Quarter-Finals and then Semi-Finals for the very first time – as well as punching a ticket to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in February 2020.
“We were beaten by the better team and they were better in all areas,” said Rachael Vanderwal after the contest.
“It’s been a long tournament and both emotionally and physically we just weren’t there tonight. But the big picture shows how far we have come. From not even qualifying in 2017, to fighting for a medal.”
Great Britain head coach, Chema Buceta stated: ” Serbia had a great day but we need to look at that big picture which Rachael (Vanderwal) talked about. We are here talking about Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. This is amazing.
“Of course we would liked to have won this game, but we are playing against a great team, like we did in the Semi-Final against France.
“We have to be very happy with what we have done in this tournament. we have raised the level on the court, but now other people involved have to make sure they also do more,” added the play-caller.”