GB Women’s 50+ team have won the Santander Masters Basket Tournament in their competition category, racking up 4 wins from 4 games over the course of the 3-day international event in the gorgeous northern Cantabrian city of Santander. In a hard fought Gold medal game coached by the well-matched duo of David Mason (Sussex) and Jimmy ‘Jumpshot’ Smith (Nottingham), our GB 50+ players defeated a very good Irish squad (25-21pts) that included a handful of overseas guest players from Spain, UK and even New Zealand. Captain Ann Jamieson, ex-Sheffield Hatter and Scotland International player, led the scoring with 12 points, 4 of which came from two truly stunning assists from centre Iwona Rentflejsz. Timely perimeter shooting from Renfrew’s Shirley White and ex-international Louise Cooke ensured the winners trophy came home.
The GB Women’s 40+ team, led by former England International & Sheffield Hatters player Sarah Cooney, bounced back strongly from their first game defeat to win their next three games and secure the Silver Plate trophy against some very tough Spanish and Irish opposition. Strong perimeter performances also came Stockport’s Rehana Khalil and Cardiff Met Archers Basketball Club player, Sarah Wagstaff. Whilst London trio Brigitte Castillon, Ilze Holsteina and Simone McKoy patrolled the boards. The coaching pair of Lee Clark (Stourbridge) and Brian Deacon (Sussex) were delighted with the strong finish, and are already looking forward to the European Championship 2024 campaign in Italy.
GB Men’s 45+ team, despite sustaining a couple of injuries, narrowly lost out on securing a bronze medal, losing by 2 points in the closing moments of the game against Spanish opposition that included a sprinkling of 6’9″ players! However, it was a creditable performance to finish 4th from 12 teams, and the perimeter shooting of Kent’s Paul Jessop certainly lit up the court. He finished as the tournament’s top scorer in the M45+ category. An awesome achievement among the likes of former Estudiantes players!! Coach Riccardo Raggi (Kent) gave great encouragement to his team, and is also looking forward to building on this foundation ahead of Pesaro 2024.
Congratulations to all three GB Maxis teams, and thanks to our Team Manager (Louisa Smalley) and Strength & Conditioning Coach Michelle Ortega. Some players will now continue their preparations for the World Maxibasketball Championship FIMBA – Mar Del Plata 2023 and others will take a break until the programme re-opens in the Autumn, and all eyes turn to training and trials for the European Maxibasketball Championship 2024, Italy