Great Britain v Sweden: Buceta identifies key to GB success

Great Britain coach Chema Buceta believes defence will be essential to beating Sweden in their opening FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2025 qualifier in Manchester on Thursday 9 November.

With the first window of games in sight, Coach Buceta is optimistic as he and his team aim for two wins over the next four days.

GB follow their home game with Sweden with a trip to Estonia on Sunday.

“I think this is a very important window because, within the competition, we’re playing teams that are strong,” Buceta said. “We need to be first in this group, so we must be as strong as possible to win these two games.

“My feeling is positive because I see a very positive attitude from the players who will be in the team. The players who will attend I think they are capable to succeed. So I am positive that we will have a very good window.”

The upcoming game sees the return of Caledonia Gladiators’ Chantelle Handy, who initially retired from international basketball earlier in the year.

Fans in Manchester will also see London Lions forward Temi Fagbenle captain the side for the first time on home soil.

“It’s still a blessing and a joy to play on the GB team,” Fagbenle said.

“The camaraderie, energy and passion my team-mates, our staff, and I bring to each campaign is a big reason I continue to enjoy playing on this team.

“It’s an honour to fight together for a common goal.”

Despite not qualifying for the last FIBA Women’s EuroBasket, Great Britain’s opponents, Sweden, ranked 27 in the FIBA world rankings, bring a wealth of experience and a team stacked with good shooters.

With eight Women’s EuroBasket appearances under their belt, with their last two showings seeing them reach the quarter-finals, they will be strong opposition.

“They have experienced players, and we have to be aware of the perimeter game that they have,” said Buceta.

“The team has very good shooters, so we have to be aware of that, and what we need to do is play strong defence in this game, which I think will be key.”

Bring the noise

Another key that both Fagbenle and coach Buceta agreed on is the energy that the GB faithful bring whenever they are at home. They want that same enthusiasm at the National Basketball Performance Centre come Thursday.

“The role of the crowd is essential when we play at home; that makes a difference, and I hope we get a good crowd so that they support the team as much as possible,” Buceta says.

“We love the support from our fans,” Fagbenle echoed. “Home or away, their energy is palpable and much appreciated. I hope to see many of our supporters in Manchester this November.”


You can get tickets for the big opening FIBA EuroBasket 2025 qualifier against Sweden in Manchester here.

For more information on FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2025, head to the official website here.