- National Teams
Great Britain Senior Men fell to their second consecutive loss in their EuroBasket 2015 qualifiers, suffering an 80-67 defeat at the hands of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The visitors led by as many as 23 points and despite things appearing as though they could get ugly, a spirited fourth quarter rally led by Ben Mockford saw GB reduce the lead to 7 in the final minutes in a late comeback attempt that fell short.
Mirza Teletovic was the man for Bosnia & Herzegovina, scoring an efficient 25 points and thwarting GB’s comeback attempt, while GB were led by 14 points from Dan Clark and 13 each from Kieron Achara and Kyle Johnson.
This was the first game in Group A for the Balkan team, which now share top spot with Iceland.
“There were stretches where we did some good things,” said GB Head Coach Joe Prunty, who lost forward Myles Hesson to a foot injury after just 14 minutes of play.
“We did a good job cutting that lead to seven in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, on an out of bounds play right in front of us, we gave the layup too easily. You can’t give up those plays. Bosnia and Herzegovina deserve a lot of credit.
“People will look at Mirza Teletovic and think it was all down to him. The reality is that it wasn’t. They had six guys close to double figures and did a very good job of executing their plays. We have to improve defensively.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina used a 9-1 burst midway through the opening frame to open up a first double-digit gap, 15-5, when Mirza Teletovic scored his first points in the game with 3:25 remaining to the first buzzer.
The visitors went into the locker-rooms at half-time with a comfy 46-31 cushion, leaving Great Britain in search of solutions.
Teletovic made sure whatever reaction GB had in mind would no materialise when he drilled a triple with 6:24 remaining in the third to extend the gap to 20 points, 57-37, and followed up with an and-one play that gave the guests their biggest lead, 60-37.
“We had some moments where we controlled the game well and a moment where we had an unexplained lapse,” said Bosnia & Herzegovina Head Coach Dusko Ivanovic. “Part of it is because of our lapse in concentration but the other part is that the Great Britain players played very well. They showed a great, aggressive effort.”
Despite two losses from two games, all hope is not lost for the squad, who still have a chance of qualifying for EuroBasket 2015, but need to beat Iceland heavily next Wednesday at the Copper Box (20th August, 7:35pm tip) and see Bosnia beat Iceland in both games.
The GB squad now has a two day break before reconvening on Saturday.