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England Basketball Features Women

Vanderwal upbeat despite defeat in Commonwealth opener

Team England’s Women fell to a 54-80 loss to Canada in their opening fixture at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Townsville.

Georgia Jones netted a team-high 11 points including 40% from the three-point line.

Canada took control of the game either side of half-time, behind a barrage of three-pointers. But for England, there were plenty of positives to take away from the performance – not least the competitiveness they displayed over the first 20 minutes of the contest.

Rachael Vanderwal, who scored seven points, five rebounds and three assists, believes the game could prove a catalyst for the team moving forward.

“It felt great to step out on court today with the full squad together,” opened Vanderwal.

“We had a great preparation camp and it’s always exciting to step out on the court for the first contest at a major Games.

“Obviously the end result was disappointing and to come away with such a heavy loss doesn’t feel great.

“We tried a few different things out there, but you have to give credit to Canada. They put together a couple of big runs that really influenced the final outcome.

“Despite the result, I’m proud of our effort – we never gave up and stayed true to what we we’re trying to achieve.

“It’s down to us now to learn from the game and ensure we take the same fighting spirit into our next game.

“We have a day of practise tomorrow and come Sunday we’ll be ready to go.”

With the top-two teams in Pool A advancing directly through to the semi-finals on the Gold Coast, England will be hoping to bounce back at 2:30am Sunday morning UK time when they face Mozambique before a final round blockbuster against Australia.

Image: 5or6 / Basketball England

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