Following confirmation last month that Team Scotland will be participating in Men’s Basketball at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, this weekend brought news that they will face England, Cameroon and India in the pool stage of the competition.
The team seeding and pool allocation were revealed by GC2018 Ambassador and NBA Basketball star Patty Mills yesterday (6 August) and includes a diverse range of competing nations from Oceania, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa.
The eight competing nations have been split into two pools of four which will compete against each other during the preliminary rounds to be held in Townsville and Cairns between 5-10 April. The finals will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from 13-15 April 2018.
Scotland has been placed in Men’s Pool B along with England, Cameroon and India and will play all three pool Games in Townsville, with the match schedule to be announced in the coming weeks.
Australia, Nigeria, New Zealand and Canada will contest Men’s Pool A.
At the conclusion of the Pool stage, the top two teams from Pool A will proceed to the semi-finals, whilst the bottom two teams from Pool A will play the top two teams from Pool B in the qualifying finals which will be held in Cairns (men). The remaining two Pool B teams are eliminated.
The winner of the qualifying final will then advance to the semi-final and medal matches on the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast will be only the second time Basketball has been included in the Games programme when Scotland finished sixth in Melbourne in 2006 and they would love to go further next year.
Captain Kieron Achara said: “We really want to perform next April. We know that if we perform, it could change the whole dynamics of basketball in Scotland, something we definitely would like to achieve. Our focus is solely on fielding the best team possible and competing with everyone else.”
Aware that Team Scotland is yet to win a medal in a team sport, Achara added: “I think our goal should definitely be to fight for medals at the Games. For me, after my injury which put me out of the 2006 Games, the Gold Coast seems more and more important to be successful and potentially finish in the top three.
“The Commonwealth Games are unique as we get the chance to represent Team Scotland and it’s a great opportunity for us to make our home country proud. It will also be great to interact with so many different members of Team Scotland over in Australia, listening to different stories and just being a part of the Team Scotland family will be such a big honour.”
Individual player selection will be made early in 2018 to ensure player form and fitness.