Team England go into tomorrow’s semi-final against Canada with every reason to feel optimistic, despite already losing to the North American side during their Pool A schedule.
Coach Buceta’s team came up short against Canada 54-80 when the two sides met to open their Games last Friday, but a lot has changed since then. Wins against Mozambique and Jamaica have seen England build some momentum and confidence in the camp is high.
“We’re thrilled to see ourselves into the Semis after a hard fought contest against Jamaica,” said captain Stef Collins. “We’re looking forward to playing Canada again having lost to them in the preliminary round. We’ve learned a lot since that game and look forward to the challenge of competing for a spot in the Gold Medal game.”
In Canada’s Pool A victory against Mozambique on Monday, Shay Colley didn’t play so her status remains a question mark heading into tomorrow. The talented young point guard had a joint team-high 14 points when Canada last played England, her availability will be a big factor.
England will also need to find a way to contain Daneesha Provo. She is currently 5th highest scorer in the women’s competition with 13.3ppg and the guard is also very adept at getting herself to the charity stripe when needed, the Nova Scotia native shoots an average 6 free throws per match.
In that opening loss to Canada, England were up against it after committing 22 turnovers. Since that point, the team have taken much better care of the ball to average just 14 turnovers per game with a tournament low of 12 last time out against Jamaica. In that quarter final game, Rachael Vanderwal also found some form to score a game high 22 points; she can be a big time player if she can keep that level of performance going.
The winner of tomorrow’s game will be guaranteed a medal as they move into the Final of the competition, with the winner taking gold and the loser getting silver. The two defeated semi-finalists will play off against each other for a shot at the bronze medal. Local rivals Australia and New Zealand are the other 2 teams left in the Women’s draw.
Date: Friday 13 April
Stage: Semi Finals
How to follow: We’ll have coverage and commentary throughout the game on our Twitter feed, @bballengland. If the game is chosen for live streaming, we'll advertise the link on our social media channels.