GB's Valiant Effort Falls Short in Final EuroBasket Qualifier -

GB’s Valiant Effort Falls Short in Final EuroBasket Qualifier

Great Britain’s Senior Men put up a brave fight in Sarajevo but came up short as Bosnia & Herzegovina booked their ticket to next year’s EuroBasket with a 74-68 victory on Sunday.

GB finish with a disappointing 0-4 record in Group A but their effort cannot be faulted with Ben Mockford epitomising the heart and fight with a tremendous display. The 25-year-old guard had a team-high 19 points on 5/8 shooting from 3-point range while Mirza Teletovic scored 25 for the hosts.

And Mockford received praise once again from Head Coach Joe Prunty, as did the rest of the team for their efforts over the summer.

“I knew the guys would play with pride in this last game and it was positive to see Ben (Mockford) play great and other players like Eric (Boateng) step up,” he said.

“Ben, in particular, deserves a ton of credit for being such a great team-mate and working so hard. Especially with it being his first year with the team and only being fresh out of college – he can be proud of himself.”

“My guys really did give everything as a team. I am proud of that effort and especially since we had some knocks and injuries, but everyone battled through those and never stopped fighting.

“Obviously, results were not what we had been searching for, as we wanted to qualify for EuroBasket 2015 and now we have to take time to reflect and evaluate.”

The visitors failed to trouble the scorers in the final 4:11 of the game as they missed the opportunity to pull off a great win on the road.

Both teams traded baskets in the early stages and GB gained the lead at 13-12 on the back of consecutive 3-pointers from Kyle Johnson and Mockford. Bosnia edged back in front before Kieron Achara levelled with a pair of free throws at 19-19. Teletovic had the final say in the first with a late triple to give Bosnia a 22-19 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.

GB took the lead with the first four points in the second only for the home side to hit back with a 7-0 response capped by a three from Nemanja Mitrovic. He drained another in response to a triple from Drew Sullivan before putting Bosnia up by 12 with his third score from beyond the arc, at 39-27.

GB enjoyed a 10-2 close to the half ended with a buzzer-beating three from Sullivan as the deficit was cut to just four points at 41-37 heading into the break.

Marko Sutalo drained two 3-pointers when play resumed as the lead crept back up into double figures at 55-44. A 9-2 burst hauled GB back into contention. Mockford began to heat up from downtown and his trio of triples made it a two-point game heading into the fourth with Bosnia holding a slender 61-59 advantage.

The game was level at 63-63 but Teletovic made consecutive scores from 3-point range to extend the lead to six as GB endured a scoreless drought of almost four minutes. Achara stopped the rot with a dunk before a 5th three from Mockford cut the deficit to a single point with 4:11 remaining.

However, GB suffered another untimely drought as Bosnia kept their opponents off the scoreboard for the rest of the game with Teletovic adding four points to take his tally to 25 points and secure the win for his side.

Dan Clark limped off in the opening half which limited his involvement while Ashley Hamilton, Devon van Oostrum and Matthew Bryan-Amaning were all DNP’s for the visitors.


While Bosnia and Iceland can celebrating reaching next year’s EuroBasket, the future remains unclear for GB.

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  1. Pingback: Ben Mockford Signs First Pro Deal with Caceres in Spain —

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