Chris_Finch_pointing_by_side_of_courtJanuary 30 - Britain's men have been handed a tough draw for EuroBasket 2011 but coach Chris Finch is optimistic that his team can produce a good performance in what will hopefully be a warm-up for next year's Olympics in London.

They were drawn in Group A, the most difficult of the four, alongside Turkey, Spain, hosts Lithuania, Poland and a qualifier, at a ceremony in Vilnius.

Turkey were runners-up in last year's FIBA World Championship, while Lithuania finished third and Spain reached the quarter-finals.

Spain won the European Championships in 2009 as Chris Finch's men lost all three of their group games, albeit in closely-fought contests.

"For me it's less about the strength of any group and more about getting the strongest team together," said Finch.

"If we can accomplish that we have a chance to do some nice things.

"If not, then all the groups are equally difficult.

"With the draw complete we can now finalise our planning and begin putting some details in place.

"We can also now visualise our competition and the things we need to focus on to be successful."

Britain earned their place in EuroBasket 2011, which tips off on August 31, by finishing the qualifying rounds top of their group.

"In Group A we will face some of our familiar counterparts," said British Basketball Performance Director, Chris Spice.

"We know Spain, Poland and Turkey well and taking on Lithuania will certainly be an experience in front of the home crowd.

"We have a massive challenge ahead but looking at the bigger picture we have to work hard to prepare ourselves to ensure we're competitive on the court this summer.

"Every day in our preparation will be vital."


Britain's captain Drew Sullivan (pictured) remained confident that the team, who are waiting to find out whether the world governing body FIBA will allow them to compete at London 2012, could do well.

"I think we've certainly drawn a tough group with the teams in Group A, but at the same time I believe if we can get all our guys together it will put us in good stead," he said.

"I think of all the teams we would have preferred not to have drawn Lithuania as, being the host nation, they will have huge support from their home crowd which goes a long way to help teams do well in a tournament like this.

"We knew that no group would have been a push over but from our stand point we have to put the best team together that we possibly can, have a good training camp and prepare for the competition ahead."