England Under-18s suffered their first loss at Future Stars 2013 on Saturday, going down 57-53 to Croatia at Surrey Sports Park, Guildford.
Despite reducing Croatia’s lead to just 1 with just under 3 minutes to play, and then again to two with 21 seconds remaining thanks to a Jules Christian baseline drive, England were unable to get over the hump as they dropped to a 3-1 record at the 2013 Future Stars Tournament.
Mo Soluade and Tyrell Isaacs led England with 11 points each, Terrel Martin-Garcia had 8, whilst Jules Christian added 6. Marko Arapovic, a ’96 born considered amongst the best players in his age group in Europe, had 11 points to lead a balanced effort from Croatia.
Despite the loss, England’s second best record in the tournament sets them up with an opportunity for revenge as they will once again face Croatia (4-0) in the Final on Sunday.
Bosnia & Herzegovina beat Sweden 62-59
In the opening game of the day, Bosnia & Herzegovina beat Sweden by 4. N. Tunovic had 13 points to lead Bosnia, with I. Garic adding 12, whilst Ludde Hakanson led Sweden with 14, and A. Larsson added 9.
London Utd-Harefield Academy beat Sweden 83-81 in OT
London United-Harefield Academy booked their place in the third place playoff game with Bosnia & Herzegovina with a hard fought overtime victory over Sweden. Elvisi Dusha hit the go-ahead layup with 20 seconds remaining, as LUHA sealed the game the free throw line and Ludde Hakanson’s half court prayer bounced off the back of the rim as time expired.
Andy Tamayo had 23 to lead London Utd, with Elvisi Dusha adding 16 and Korry Callum adding 14. A. Ramstedt led Sweden with 18, J. Lofberg had 17 Sweden, whilst Hakanson added 11.
Croatia beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 61-53
Croatia kept their perfect record intact as they beat Bosnia & Herzegovin by holding them to just three field goals in the fourth quarter. Marko Arapovic was once again the high man for Croatia with 14 points, whilst L. Mazalin added 9. B. Lulic had 17 to lead Bosnia & Herzegovina, whilst I. Polutak had 11.
Sunday 30th June
15:00 London United vs Bosnia & Herzegovina (3rd / 4th Place)
17:00 England vs Croatia (Final)
- Solid performance for England, with a game that was there for the taking, especially with Mo Soluade in foul trouble throughout, and no Luke Nelson who didn’t play whilst resting a knee injury.
- England starters: Tyrell Isaacs, Mo Soluade, Tamas Okros, Ben Lawson & Kingsely Okoroh.
- Great and deserved win for London United, who have brought a hard-nosed, blue collar work ethic to the tournament despite being drastically undersized.
- Coaching clinic took place on the Saturday morning with about 60 coaches in attendance.
- The FIBA 3×3 tournament will be taking place throughout Sunday, around the third place playoff and final of the tournament.
- Looking forward to the re-match between Croatia and England in the final, with Luke Nelson expected to play as well, it should be a good one!