- National Teams
Great Britain suffered a heartbreaking 91-90 overtime loss to Australia, on the final day of the London International Basketball Invitational.
GB finished the tournament with a 1-4 record over the week, with 3 defeats by less than 5 points. Head coach Chris Finch’s biggest takeaway from the tournament?
“We can play with anybody here. I think that’s encouraging but as competitors, we’ve got to win these games.”
Robert Archibald, despite seeing the positives from the week, was visibly frustrated after another close loss:
“There’s definitely a lot of positives his week, but at the same time, if I was being honest I’d say we gave that game away today. We can keep knocking on the door of these games to win them, but they’re not gonna open the door for us, we’re gonna have to kick it down eventually and figure out a way to close these games out.”
With the game tied at 90, and GB in the penalty, Australia drew a foul from Ogo Adegboye sending Adam Gibson to the line with 3 seconds remaining. He made one of them, winning the game for the final 91-90 scoreline. Luol Deng had a shot attempt from half court as the buzzer sounded which didn’t come close, sealing GB’s fourth loss of the tournament.
Luol Deng led all GB scorers with a 26 point, 9 rebound effort, whilst Joel Freeland added 22 points. Australia were led by 23 points from Brad Newley, as he was joined by three others in double figures.
After Australia scored off the opening tip, Luol curled off a screen to shoot an 18 foot baseline jumper and made it, tying things up. A Reinking dump off to Freeland for a dunk momentarily gave GB the lead at 6-5, but Australia’s Maric responded with a dunk of his own to give them a 7-6 lead midway into the first quarter.
In what was a physical contest early, Australia went into the first break with a 21-15 lead.
Devon Van Oostrum came out and drained a three to open the second quarter, before getting into the lane and handing off a nice dish to Eric Boateng for the dunk. A coast to coast drive from Adegboye tied the game up at 22, with 8 minutes left in the half.
Australia momentarily ended the run, before another Van Oostrum assist, this time to Robert Archibald, tied it up at 24 with 3 minutes gone in the period. Australia went on a short run, putting themselves up four, but GB fought back.
Van Oostrum’s third assist for a Reinking three, gave GB the lead once more, 31-30 with 3:13 left in the half. An uncontested layup for Gibson to give Australia the lead once more prompted a Chris Finch timeout.
It made little difference, as a physical Australian team went in to the locker-room with a 39-35 lead on GB in a half that featured 10 lead changes.
Gibson immediately opened up the second half scoring with a floater in the key, followed by a GB turnover and Maric score in the lane. Freeland however responded, soring in the lane, before blocking a shot in the lane. Adegboye missed a jumper, as Ingles made a beautiful back door cut behind Reinking to score on an easy layup.
Australia led 48-38 as Newley hit his second three pointer, stretching out Australia’s largest lead of the game just two minutes into the second half.
An Adegboye 18 foot elbow jumper reduced the deficit to three, 59-56, with just over 2 minutes in the half, but Autstralia’s Worthington hit a three to increase the cushion once more to six. GB managed a small recovery, as Van Oostrum was fouled on the third quarter buzzer, splitting the pair of free throws at the line. Australia led 62-59 heading in to the final quarter.
As he did to start the game, Deng hit a baseline fadeaway to start things off, bring GB to within one. However, that was the closest they would get for the next 9 minutes, as every run they went on, was replied to by the Australians.
Hoever, a Freeland free throw with 1:30 remaining, brough us to 78-77, and then a huge three from Devon Van Oostrum gave GB an 80-78 lead with 1:13 left in the game sending the crowd into a frenzy.
After a timeout was called, Lenzly was called for a blocking foul sending Ingles to the line who made both to tie the game. Deng came up short from long range giving the ball back to Australia. A great defensive stand led to an Australian shot clock violation, giving GB the ball back with 1.8 seconds remaining. Deng got a good look at a deep three but it bounced off the back of the rim and the two teams headed to overtime.
Gibson went backdoor for the layup to open up the scoring in OT. Freeland missed a baby hook in the lane, Australia missed. Lenzly hit a huge three, before another stop from GB allowed Freeland to muscle his way to the rim. GB led 85-82 with 3 minutes left in the game.
A dish from Reinking to Freeland for an easy two, further extended the lead but again, Australia responded. Reinking fouled out, Devon checked back in, making a lovely dish to Freeland for a two handed dunk.
With 1:49 left in the game, Deng made 1/2 free throws to put GB up 90-86.
Newley responded with a huge three, and with 50 seconds left GB had the ball. Lenzly missed, leading to what looked like an open breakway layup. However, Deng got a Lebron James-style chasedown block, before GB drew the foul. Ogo couldn’t convert at the line, missing both. Australia had the ball for the last possession, but Deng fouled Gibson, sending Australia to the line with 10.6 seconds left in the game and GB up 90-89. He made one tying the game, but Luol Deng got in trouble at the other end, tuning it over, and as Australia broke away, the final sequence played out.
Box Score and statistics.
Croatia 83-53 China
Bagdanovic has 16 to lead Croatia, with Markota adding 12. China were led by 17 points from Jianlian Yi. Box score.
France 80-77 Serbia
Tony Parker has 24 to lead France with some clutch play, Batum with 14. Perovic leads Serbia with 14, Rasic 11.
Did you see any of the games? Thoughts? Drop a comment!