LONDON – Tom Maher was not a happy man Monday night.
The coach of Great Britain’s women’s basketball team watched his inexperienced squad blow a lead against Canada and lose its best shot at getting a win at the Olympic Games.
“I’m not pissy because we lost,” said the dour Aussie, who led the Opals to bronze and silver Olympic medals in his time Down Under. “I’m that way naturally.”
Canada represented Great Britain’s best chance of getting a win here — Canada is the next lowest ranked team at 11th in the world against Britain’s 49th — but Maher said his players just aren’t equipped to deal with the kind of pressure they faced Monday night.
Great Britain got a berth in the tournament as hosts.
“They’re just not A-grade reliable players … their level of experience is way out of whack (with the other teams here). We’ve got to stay in touch with reality,” he said. “We’re 49th in the world. That gives you an indication of where we are.”
Maher is also looking at the big picture.
This is the start of Great Britain’s women’s program.
“Four years ago, it was basically all volunteers, moms, dads and some big-hearted person coaching them. It’s nobody’s fault for the way it was. But I have no doubt, I’m 100% sure there is going to be a legacy (from hosting the Olympics).”