PORTOBELLO star Rose Anderson will win an amazing 60th international vest for the Great Britain women’s basketball team when they clash with hosts and favourites France in a real grudge group clincher at Trelaze in Brittany tonight.
The sole Scot in the GB team of 12 had only a very minor part in yesterday’s historic 69-56 win over close rivals Latvia which guaranteed this gutsy much under-rated side coached by Welshman Damian Jennings of a place in the second round regardless of tonight’s result. The match will decide which team will top the group and carry the advantage into the next phase but there is also some history there.
“There’s still a bitter taste from our loss to France in the London Olympics (to a Celine Dumerc three-pointer in the very last second of overtime),” explained former Cardiff Archers coach Jennings.
France went on to win the silver medal in 2012 while GB failed to win a game but that did not reflect the huge improvement GB had made in a very short time and they have continued that surge here with a highly competent, fourth-quarter comeback 76-68 win over Serbia in their opener, in which Anderson had four assists, a rebound, a steal and a turn-over.
Yesterday Anderson was hauled off after just two minutes after losing her opponent and costing a basket shortly after coming on as a sub.
Such is the team spirit of this group however that she knew immediately what would happen: “”We have been together from day one and our tenacity and never-say-die spirit is what we are all about,” said Jennings.
Much attention will be devoted to GB guard Jo Leedham tomorrow as she now plays for French Euroleague legends Bourges, some of whom are in the French side who will face her. Anderson, by contrast, plays for third division St Paul Reze in nearby Nantes.
With Jennings stressing the need for all 12 players to contribute in this two-week long tournament, a moment of glory may still arrive for this 25-year-old former Edinburgh Kool Kat.