- National Teams
Great Britain Senior Men suffered a devastating blow with a 71-69 loss at the hands of Iceland on Wednesday night at the Copper Box, ending their EuroBasket 2015 and Olympic aspirations.
The defeat, GB’s third straight, extinguished any hopes the team had of qualifying for EuroBasket, and in turn Rio 2016, and left questions about the future of the British Basketball programme.
With funding having been completely withdrawn earlier this year, the programme doesn’t currently have the funding to continue operating into 2015.
Despite their best first half performance of the campaign which saw the team lead by as many as 13, GB fell apart in the second half, crumbling under the pressure of an Icelandic side led by Jon Stefansson who finished with 23.
A 28-16 third quarter from Iceland saw GB chasing the remainder of the way, and a last minute effort came up short.
Dan Clark finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Achara impressed with 15 points seven rebounds and four assists. Devon van Oostrum put on a first half clinic at the point guard position, finishing with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
“I liked the effort we put out on the floor and especially in the first-half, when we were very much the aggressors,” said Head Coach Joe Prunty.
“We were making a real push and had a good balance, but at the start of the third quarter they began to make some big shots and got far too many offensive rebounds. We lost our way defensively a bit, while offensively we just couldn’t get the ball into post and we have to be able to move the ball much more quickly.”
Great Britain wrap up their campaign in Sarajevo on Sunday when they will face Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Prunty insisting his team will be ready to try and bounce back.
He said: “We are competitors and these guys have battled from the moment we got here. There are no issues about us fighting in this last game and it is not just about pride. It is about more than that, because as ever, the players will be representing themselves, their team and their country.”