LONDON 2012: Australia teach Great Britain some lessons in Olympic warm-up
GREAT Britain coach Tom Maher admitted a heavy defeat to world number two side Australia could be just what his women's basketball team need before the London 2012 Olympics.
STAR: Jo Leedham scored 12 points as Great Britain lost 87-63 to world number two side Australia in Sheffield (British Basketball)
Maher guided the Australian team to bronze in 1996 and silver in 2000 and is leading a host nation into the Games for the third time, having been in charge of the Chinese team in Beijing.
And despite losing 87-63, the soon to be five-time Olympic coach was determined to see only positives.
“It was interesting and it was very good for us to play them,” he said.
“I think it was good for our players to understand the physicality, although it was not a rough game.
“We’re playing Australia, it’s not easy but we can take a lot out of it and hopefully we can do the country proud.”
Jo Leedham, who plays her club basketball in Australia, top scored for the hosts with 12 points along with four rebounds and five assists, while Julie Page picked up the most rebounds with eight to go with her six points.
Azania Stewart also made a solid contribution but knows the ever-improving team need to maintain their consistency across a match.
“I think we came out ready in the first half,” she said.
“In the second half we couldn’t really get it going and they blew it open, but obviously I’m really proud of our efforts as they are the number two team in the world.
“I’m disappointed we lost but we can learn from this when we play them again in the Olympics.”
© Sportsbeat 2012