Hungary outlast GB but EuroBasket 2017 qualification still achievable

Great Britain still have a chance of qualifying for EuroBasket 2017 even though they lost 88-80 to Hungary at the Copper Box on Saturday.

After winning their opening two games at home, GB were denied a third straight victory by a late surge from the visitors who took a lead towards the end of the third quarter and then did enough to keep the hosts at bay in the fourth.

Despite the defeat there were a number of strong performances from Joe Prunty’s men, especially that of Gabe Olaseni who didn’t miss a shot all night; finishing with 17 points and 8 rebounds.

It was Great Britain who got off to the fast start, forcing Hungary into an early timeout after racing to a 10-2 lead.

Hungary came storming back to tie the game 18-18, but GB were able to push ahead by four points thanks to a tough lay-up from Kyle Johnson and a buzzer-beater from captain Kieron Achara.

The lead would change hands four times in the second quarter but after Alexander Young put Great Britain up 32-31, the home side would keep ahead for the rest of the half, going into the break with a 44-38 advantage.

For first five minutes of the third Great Britain remained in control as Olaseni came up big for the home side on a number of occasions.

But Hungary improved as the quarter wore on and they finished it with a 19-6 run for a 65-61 lead of their own.

In the fourth, GB briefly lead 71-70 on a three-pointer by Dan Clark, but then Hungary hit back with a 10-0 run to put the game out of the home side’s reach.

Great Britain’s defeat means they can no longer win their group but they still have a chance of reaching EuroBasket 2017 as one of the four best second-placed teams.

A win in Macedonia on Wednesday is a must now for Prunty’s side, who will then round off their qualifying campaign in Luxembourg next Saturday.

Source/Image: GB Basketball