- National Teams
Great Britain were left shell-shocked by Serbia as they lost 97-95 on a Milos Teodosic layup with 2 seconds remaining on Thursday night on the third day of the London International Basketball Invitational at the Olympic Basketball Arena in Straford.
With the game tied at 95, Teodosic ran down the clock before getting free on a baseline drive and finishing at the rim. Dan Clark got off a long range three point attempt before the buzzer that missed everything, sealing GB’s fate.
It was more bad news for GB as they lost both Joel Freeland (ankle) and captain Drew Sullivan (groin) to injuries.
Chris Finch was frustrated after the game, but could see the positive:
“Even when we were down, we dictated and controlled most of the game. Our guys played extremely well, they played the way they needed to play to win and I told them if we keep playing like this we’ll put ourselves in a position to get some wins. It was another step forward for us, and that’s a positive thing.”
Dan Clark can see the team improving:
“It was a tough loss, we’re disappointed, but we made a step forward from yesterday.”
GB saw a balanced scoring effort with six players reaching double figures; Boateng (15), Lenzly (13), Reinking (13), Clark (12), Lawrence (12) and Archibald (11). Clark also grabbed 10 rebounds. Nenad Krstic led Serbia with 21, with Dusko Savanovic having 20 before leaving the game with an injury.
Andrew Lawrence got GB off the mark with a tough drive into the lane and finish, before a Dan Clark wide open three gave GB a 5-0 lead 2 minutes in. Lawrence showed no fear early, getting in to the lane at will but failing to convert. It was a Lawrence three that gave GB an 11-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
A Nate Reinking step back elbow jumper extended GB’s lead to 16-9, before fouling Serbia sending them to the line where they made both free throws to reduce the deficit to 5 with just over 3 minutes left in the quarter. At the other end Lenzly was fouled on a three point attempt, making all three foul shots to put GB up 19-11.
Serbia continued to display crisp ball movement, but struggled to convert, whilst GB went 3/5 from deep in the first quarter to be up 22-18 after 1.
Sullivan started the second quarter scoring, getting an offensive rebound and putback to stretch GB’s lead to 24-18 with 8m 45s left in the half. Sullivan came alive in the second, scoring 7 points in the first 5 minutes, as GB led 35-29 with 5:25 left in the half, punctuated by a wide open layup from Robert Archibald down the lane.
GB struggled with consistency for the rest of the half, at times looking brilliant, whilst at times looking terrible. Foul trouble saw the bench get a good run, with Boateng hitting the offensive glass hard. Regardless, at half time,the game was tied at 44.
It was bad news for GB as they lost both Sullivan and Freeland in the opening two minutes of the second half to injuries; Sullivan getting fouled on a drive to the basket and Freeland twisting his ankle whilst grabbing a rebound. Serbia instantly capitalised taking their first lead of the game, 50-48. Clark responded with a nice spin and score in the lane, before Reinking drew an intentional foul after a steal. They couldn’t take advantage though, as Reinking split the free throws and failed to score on the ensuing possession.
A Robert Archibald and-one put GB up 54-52, before Serbia’s Teodosic was called for a technical foul at the other end after shooting the ball from halfcourt after a foul call. Lenzly made both free throws, but once again GB couldn’t convert on the possession.
What followed was a mini collapse from GB. A Serbian layup down the lane, followed by a three, combined with multiple GB turnovers, gave Serbia a 59-55 lead with just under 5 minutes left to play.
However, GB kept fighting. Three consecutive three pointers, two by Clark and one by Devon Van Oostrum, quickly turned the game, as GB held a 66-63 lead with 2:50 left in the third quarter. A 7-0 Boateng run, punctuated with an and1 dunk off a Van Oostrum assist gave GB a 73-67 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the third. Serbia’s Krstic scored for his 20th point, as GB led 73-69 after three quarters.
Dan Clark was called for his fourth foul almost immediately to start the fourth quarter and headed to the bench. Serbia capitalised immediately, as they held an 81-77 lead with 6:36 left in the game.
GB refused to relent though. Some tough play from Andrew Lawrence, and a nice drive from Lenzly, put Serbia up just 87-84. Serbia scored, Boateng responded, three point game with 4 minutes left.
GB kept it close, and as Lenzly scored on another tough drive to the basket, the deficit was just 1, as Serbia led 92-91 with 2:30 left. A Reinking elbow jumpshot, followed by a miss from Serbia, led to a huge drive from Lenzly, who hung in the air to hit yet another tough layup to give GB a 95-93 lead with 1:11 left. However, Lawrence turned the ball over at half court, leading to a Serbian fast break lay-up to tie the game. GB couldn’t convert at the other end, giving Serbia the final possession where Teodosic did his thing. Box score can be found here
France 76-59 China
France had 15 points from Nicolas Batum and 14 each from De Colo and Seraphin. China led by 20 points from Jianlian Yi. Box score here
Australia 78-66 Croatia
Easy win for Australia, despite the scoreline. Cruised from start to finish. Patty Mills with 19 to lead Australia, Nielsen 12. Croatia led by 18 from Zoric and 15 from Popovic. Box score
Image Credit: Mansoor Ahmed Photography