Great Britain Under-20s won their first official warm-up of the summer, with a 77-67 victory over Belgium in Bristol on Friday night.
It was a tale of two halves, after a dominant 23 point first half from Devon van Oostrum gave GB a 28 point lead at the break, but Belgium took over the second half to reduce it to a nine point lead with just under 3 minutes left. However, the original deficit was too much of a cushion to overcome for Belgium, as GB secured the victory.
“It was definitely a tale of two halves,” said head coach Doug Leichner after the game. “In the first half, I thought we played to a very high level, and to Belgium’s credit, I thought in the second half, they did.
“Tomorrow (in Game 2), it’s all about forty minutes. This was 20 for us and 20 for them. I’m happy that we won, we got the result; if you’d told us, hey, you’ll beat Belgium by 10, we’d take it”.
Commenting on van Oostrum’s 31 point, 3 rebound, 4 assist and 3 steal performance, Leichner added:
“I think he’s a dynamic point guard, and any time you put him in a pick and roll, it’s going to be trouble for the opposition. Now we have to see, which we will, how they’ll guard that pick and roll.”
Rowell Graham had 11 on 5/8 shooting, Matthew Don added 7, whilst Joe Hart and Raphell Thomas-Edwards added 6 each, with Thomas-Edwards also pulling down 11 rebounds.
Emmanuel Lecomte, who has signed to play at University of Miami next season, had 14 points and 5 assists to lead Belgium.
- Coach Leichner added after the game, that they will be looking at some different combinations in tonight’s match-up, as well as playing a couple of guys who didn’t get to play in Game 1.
- DVO was spectacular at times, including one stretch of 11 consecutive points on consecutive possessions without a miss; hitting three straight threes, before adding a 15 footer, as he wowed the crowd predominantly made up of England and Scotland junior national teams.
- Video highlights should be available over the course of the next week (having a few laptop problems).
- GB starters: Devon van Oostrum, Joe Hart, Rowell Graham, Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Zak Wells.
- Game 2 tips off on Saturday night in Bristol at 8:30pm, follow @Hoopsfix on Twitter for updates.