England will play in their Qualifying Final tomorrow against Jamaica needing to embrace knockout basketball for the first time at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. At Quarter Final stage, the winning team will move on to Friday’s Semi-Finals against Canada.
“We’ve seen some of Jamaica during their pool games up in Cairns. I think they’re a good side,” said England captain Stef Collins. “They have good scorers in Shenneika Smith and Jennifer George, and they’re a team that like to get after it. I think it’ll be a really good contest.”
George was a 3rd round selection in the 2013 WNBA Draft but the former Florida Gater now players her basketball in Puerto Rico. The 6’2” forward enjoyed a 19 point, 19 rebound double-double in Jamaica’s opening game victory over India, following that up with 15 boards and 12 points against eventual Pool B winners New Zealand. Averaging 18 rebounds and 18.6 points per contest so far at this year’s Games, she is a dangerous player that Collins is right to highlight.
Like George, Smith was also selected in the 2013 WNBA Draft, going 25th overall to the Washington Mystics. She was a 4-year starter at St John’s University and now players in the U.S. lower leagues. A 20-point outing against Malaysia was her highlight so far during pool play and Smith will serve as Jamaica’s main option at guard.
After playing back to back games against Mozambique and Australia, the Qualifying Final against Jamaica will represent Team England’s 3rd game in 3 days. Head Coach Jose Maria Buceta is happy that the schedule for tomorrow has at least favoured his side’s preparations, “Playing late tomorrow night will work well for us, providing more time for us to rest as well as prepare for the game,” the Spaniard said. “It is also very good for the fans back home as more people will be able to follow us without clashing with the Men. I know we’re getting a lot of support from people back in England and I want to thank everyone for that. We’ll try to do our best for those fans tomorrow.”
Date: Tuesday 10 April
Stage: Qualifying 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.