GB Aware Improvement is Needed in Order to Keep EuroBasket Dream Alive (Video) -

GB Aware Improvement is Needed in Order to Keep EuroBasket Dream Alive (Video)

After losing their opening two qualification games, Great Britain Senior Men face Iceland on Wednesday at the Copper Box knowing that another defeat will all but end their hopes of reaching next year’s EuroBasket.

And the team is aware that improvements need to be made, especially on the defensive end. Iceland and Bosnia both capitalised on slow starts from GB and Head Coach Joe Prunty is keen to ensure his side perform for the full 40 minutes.

“Our defence needs to improve,” he said, after GB suffered an 80-67 loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina on Wednesday. “We were too scrambled at times and that is where they had stronger stretches, when we got more aggressive and more intense we were better.

“Unfortunately we gave up easy lay-ups and when you’re trying to get on a run you can’t afford to give up those plays.

“We’re fighting and scrapping and I like that we’re fighting, but that intensity has to be there for 40 minutes. We can’t be down by 20-plus points in the second-half and still expect to win.

“We’ve got to show up and play right from the jump. We watched a lot of film to prepare for this game, we knew who their key guys were but we gave up too many lay-ups and that was the same problem against Iceland. We need to find answers to that.”

And GB co-captain Drew Sullivan echoed those sentiments and called on his side to be more consistent if they are to beat Iceland in their crucial next game.

“We’re showing how good we are in spurts but we’re not able to do it for 40 minutes. When you look at the score against Bosnia, we were right in the game. If we’re able to do what we did in the last ten minutes for the whole game then this is a different result and that’s something that we have to learn as a team. We have to learn how to finish out games.”

An opening 83-70 defeat to Iceland means that GB need to better that result when they face off on Wednesday, with Bosnia beating Iceland in both games also necessary to keep their hopes alive – though they will still need results in other groups to go their way.

GB were left to rue a poor fourth quarter against Iceland and know they cannot afford any repeat lapses this time around given the importance of the clash.

“Iceland is a must-win game now if we are to have any chance of qualifying for EuroBasket, which obviously is our goal, so we have to win and we will probably have to win by at least the points difference that they beat us by,” said Clark, who top scored in both games.

“It’s a very important game so we have to really focus on beating them and beating them well to put us in a good position for the final game in Bosnia. If we play our game and try to focus on what we’re doing well then I think that’s the way forward for us.”

The involvement of Myles Hesson was limited against Bosnia due to a foot injury and 24-year-old Ben Mockford stepped up with a telling contribution off the bench in the fourth quarter to the earn the praise of his coach and team-mates.

“Ben Mockford was really good,” stated Prunty. “He came in off the bench and fought for every ball. We’ve spoken to Ben and told him what his role is for this team and I thought that he did a great job. His grittiness and fight is what we have to be about as a team, and that was great to see from him.”

“Ben’s been great for us this year. He may not have gotten as many minutes as other guys but just his overall focus is fantastic,” Clark added. “When he’s on the bench he’s always cheering his team-mates on and when he’s in the game he’s concentrated and you know that when he comes on he’s going to be ready to play and he demonstrated that against Bosnia.”

Great Britain take on Iceland in their final home qualifier for EuroBasket 2015 on Wednesday 20th August. You can book tickets for the game at the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park via or 0844 338 8000.

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