Portugal hold off Great Britain in EuroBasket 2017 qualification warmup

Great Britain earned valuable game time and learned important lessons in a narrow loss, 68-72, to hosts Portugal in Coimbra.

Kieron Achara scored 13 points in a game in which 12 nominated players all saw time on court.

Head Coach Joe Prunty had included a number of players aged below 27 in his training camp of 16. He chose to start three of them in Alex Young, Joe Hart and Will Saunders, with Achara joined by Eric Boateng in the five.

While Achara top scored for the team & Mockford scored 11 points, Saunders’ numbers were encouraging – 10 points along with 6 rebounds.

A slow start saw GB trail 7-0 early, but a strong surge put the team up by 8 midway through the second quarter – after blitzing an 18-6 run within five minutes. Despite a 40-37 advantage for GB at half-time, it was the hosts who would get the better of the final two quarters in what proved to be a low scoring affair. Just 25 points were produced in a period dominated by defence and the home team had a four point advantage going into the final stretch. Try as they might, GB could not get closer on a frustrating night and their hosts closed out a four point win.

Great Britain face their second game in Coimbra on Saturday evening (2030 BST) when they meet Germany, before heading to Slovenia for a week’s further practice. They come to Manchester for two games against the Netherlands over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

When preparations are complete, the EuroBasket 2017 qualification games being away in Hungary on Wednesday August 31st before three crucial home qualifiers in a week against FYR of Macedonia (Saturday September 3rd, 6.30pm), Luxembourg (Wednesday September 7th, 7pm) & Hungary (Saturday September 10th, 6.30pm).

Source: GB Basketball
Image: C.Cox