London United’s U17 start stage II of their European Youth Basketball League campaign tomorrow against top European competition. The EYBL tournament which takes place in Riga, Latvia from 21st-24th January will see our U17 squad face 5 teams over a period of 3 days: Rosa Sport Radom (Poland) KKS Kobierzyce (Poland), BS Ridzene (Latvia), BS Chekhovskyi Yastrebi (Russia) and BS Aiscia (Lithuania).
Reflecting on the progress since stage I of the tournament, Head Coach Daniel Szatkowski states that ‘Our first EYBL tournament was a tough experience as we faced some European powerhouses like CSKA Moscow and Sabonis School. Our flaws were exposed which resulted in us losing some games by 30-40 points. However, what I am happy with most is the way my team have responded. We never gave up, we analysed our mistakes and came back to London with the will to work harder.
Head Coach Daniel said: “Our previous international tournaments showed how important it is to prepare yourself for the upcoming challenge. We had a good meeting with players and should be much more prepared then last time. Our players are developing and getting better each training/game so it is very important they stay focused on their goals which are clearly set from myself and coach Emerson.’
‘We are lucky to have new addition in person of Michal Kempinski joining us from Poland. He should be a good addition to our current squad. After our win last weekend over the talented Ipswich U18’s team my squad is spirited and ready for that challenge. We will leave 100% on court and will learn from each game.
U17 Deputy Captain Keith Kanye looking forward to the European challenge stated ‘ With our time spent in Lativa previously and currently I feel we have grown enormously as a team and individuals. We are grateful for the opportunity given to us to play abroad against different teams and in different environments, along with this comes the chance for us to better our basketball abilities from learning how others players play outside of England. This also gives us a wider understanding of the world of basketball as to what it takes to be considered a good team or good player.’
Check back at 11:30am (UK time) for the link for live stats from the first game of the EYBL tournament for U17 London United Harefield Academy as they face competition from BS Ridzene.