World Deaf Basketball Championships Report

Alex Milner

The Great Britain Deaf Basketball Team flew out to Sicily for the World Deaf Basketball Championships in Palermo on 15th September 2011. The team was greeted by our delegated group leader, Roberta Caia who undertook the role of interpreter and guide throughout our stay.

After a coach ride to the players hotel ‘Torre Nommana’, training pretty much started straight away, this was imperative as the team needed to get used to performing within the humidity with highs of 30 degrees and the impending match against Venezuela, a world class team the next two days.

The match was held within the Cefalu Basketball Hall. The team knew it would be difficult to achieve a win but the aim was to keep close within the scoring and have a strong offence. Unfortunately the team lost to the Venezuelans.

The team also lost to the remaining group stage games against Poland and Greece. But the team took this in their stride to keep focused on beating Japan for the position of being within the 9th to 12th place bracket.

The team started off extremely well which opened up a significant lead, Japan engaged and managed to claw back the lead. Upon half time, the scores were even. The coach, Moty Allshever encouraged the team to keep motivated in the remaining quarters. The pep talk worked, pumping up the team who were then ready to go and take to the court, with energy and confidence to ensure a build up to a lead again. The team worked hard collectively to ensure that the GB score remained in pole position, and held on until the end of the game.

Ramas Rentelis was the top scorer with 35 points. Ensuring the opportunity to definitely be within ninth to twelfth place. The next match against Russia was to determine whether the GB team achieved 9th/10th place or to 11th/ 12th place.

GB knew that the Russians were strong in having excellent 3 point shooting. Prepared for the match, knowing that it would be challenging, the team had started off extremely well racing to a 12-0 lead in the first 5 minutes. Unfortunately Russia became more accurate with their shooting and proceeded to win the match.

The next game which was against Poland was to fight for 11th to 12th position.It was an eventful match, which started poorly with GB losing much ground to Poland. Poland went on to win amid much controversial game playing on Poland’s part. GB came 12th.

The Championships proved to be a brilliant experience and I’m very glad that the team has had the opportunity as after all the hard work it has brought the team closer together which will enable the team to become a stronger unit and train to become the best. The aim is to achieve a higher ranking in the next championships. TEAM GB!

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