England Prepare In Portugal


Former NBA player John Amaechi headlines a list of England players who have travelled to Portugal where the two national sides will meet in three friendlies this month.

Amaechi, who spent time with Cleveland, Orlando, Utah and Houston before returning to Britain at the start of last season, along with Ronnie Baker and Delme Herriman, are the most experienced members of the England team.

They will be facing a Portuguese side that is preparing for the additional qualifying tournament for Eurobasket 2005.

England did not take part in the Eurobasket 2005 semi-final round after withdrawing due to financial problems, but they have reorganised and are making big strides in an attempt to re-establish their international credentials. They recently won the Spuerkeess Cup in Luxembourg, and will be looking to knock off the Portuguese with the first game on June 20.

In Portugal, Amaechi and Co are currently at the Rio Major national Olympic training centre, which is 50km west of Lisbon, for a four-day training camp.

England coach Peter Scantlebury said: "We've just arrived, but everything looks great for the coming week. It will be the perfect opportunity for the team to gel both on and off the court.

"We have a strength and conditioning coach working with us for the next few days.

"There will be a full schedule for the men in the gym as well as on the basketball court."

As for Portugal, they are in Group C of the additional qualifying round with Hungary and Sweden.

The winner of that group will face the winners of the other two groups in the second phase, and that side that prevails will secure the remaining berth for 16-team Eurobasket that is to be staged in Serbia & Montenegro.

England squad to face Portugal: John Amaechi, Ronnie Baker, Germayne Forbes, Michael Martin, Julius Joseph, Delme Herriman, Fabulous Flournoy, Rod Wellington, Dean Williams, Robert Reed, Andrew Bridge, Andrew Spinks, Junior Williams, Perry Lawson


04.07.2005 - By Julio Chitunda, PA International
20.06.2005 - By Julio Chitunda, PA International

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