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Great Britain's Basketball Team Seal Eurobasket Qualification at University of Worcester Arena

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Great Britain’s women’s basketball team celebrated securing their place at next year’s Eurobasket tournament at the University of Worcester Arena last night.

Peter Buckle’s team, who played all of their home qualifying fixtures at the University Arena, went into their final group match against Lithuania knowing that they had already qualified for European basketball’s showpiece event alongside their final opponents.

In a tight tussle, Lithuania, ran out 70-63 winners in front of another sizeable crowd at the venue.

Point guard Rachael Vanderwal said after the game: “Qualification was the main goal coming into the summer – that means everything. Obviously we would rather have finished with a win, but we put up a really good effort.

“Credit to Lithuania; they’re a great team and they were backed by a lot of their fans here tonight.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and so it proved – the game went down to the last few moments. We have a lot of positives to take into next summer though.”

The Eurobasket Women 2015 finals will be held in Hungary and Romania in June next year. Great Britain qualified as one of the five best second placed teams from the qualifying groups, and they will join the likes of World Championship finalists Spain, France, Turkey, Serbia, Belarus and the Czech Republic in the twenty-team finals.

Also taking part will be joint-hosts Romania, whose Assistant Coach is University of Worcester lecturer Alex Radu.

This is the third successive Eurobasket competition for which Great Britain has qualified, and Vanderwal, who was part of the team which competed at London 2012, says that the support from the Worcester crowd has been invaluable throughout the qualifying campaign.

“It’s been really good here,” she says. “I think the fans’ support has made a big difference – it’s been really loud in here. The facilities are absolutely superb as well; they’re class.

“There are a lot of children who have come out to watch us and that’s great to see. We want to inspire the youth and the next generation and ensure that basketball is an up and coming sport in the UK. We’re trying to be good role models and set a good example for the kids, so hopefully they continue to come and watch us and to play themselves.”

Great Britain’s men’s team begin the qualifying campaign for their Eurobasket tournament in August, and will play two preparation games at the University Arena against Latvia on Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20.

Tickets are priced at £15 for adults and £10 for concessions. To book tickets, call 0844 888 9991, or visit Ticketline.