Lisa Koop heads into another big weekend of basketball action with divided loyalties as Newcastle Eagles’ German star seeks success on two fronts.
The 6ft 6in centre is bidding to power Chris Bunten’s side towards a 10th Championship win of the season at BA London Lions today.
And Koop is confident of celebrating a second win in 48 hours when Germany’s men take on Great Britain at the Eagles Community Arena.
“Back home there is not so much of a discrepancy between the top teams and those near the bottom,” said the former international.
“In the WBBL there are some very good teams and some at the bottom which aren’t so good.
“That’s why we can to make it count when we go into a game as favourites.
“But even in the short time I’ve been here the WBBL is getting better and the Lions fought hard against us last week.
“I just want us to achieve greater consistency and secure a top fourth place heading into the playoffs.
“At that point anything is possible.”
Newcastle tip off against the BA Lions at 2pm and a second win inside a week against the WBBL’s basement club will keep Bunten’s side in the title mix.
Koop, who sits third in the league in rebounding, continues to improve week on week after struggling with foul trouble before Christmas.
And recent form has made the towering centre an obvious target – joining team-mates Georgia Ohrdorf, Mante Kverderaviciute and Anja Fuchs-Robetin in the top six most fouled players this season.
The Eagles are expected to win away and Koop is gearing up for a double celebration as Germany’s men target a EuroBasket win at the ECA on Monday.
The visitors, ranked 23 places above Marc Stuetel’s GB side in FIBA’s world rankings, are hot favourites to spoil the party in front of a bumper crowd on Tyneside.
And Koop added: “I’m pretty excited for Monday.
“I have to admit I have never seen the German men’s team play live so it’s very cool that they are playing here in Newcastle.
“I’m sure they are going to enjoy it looks like the game is going to sell out.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and I’m curious to see how it plays out.”
Germany are without their NBA and Euroleague stars but Koop believes a young squad with plenty to prove should still have enough in the locker to see off Steutel and co.
“Even without the full team I still think Germany will be pretty good,” she added.
“I just watched the recap from when they played in China last year at the World Championships but I don’t really know this team.
“They still have a lot of players who are used to playing a high level.
“Germany always fields a strong all-round roster that’s used to playing well together as a team.”
Monday’s international at the ECA tips off from 8pm. A limited number of tickets are still available.