- National Teams
Great Britain Under-20’s will play for seventh place at the European Championships after falling to a 78-74 defeat at the hands of Poland in the 5-8 Classification Round, on Saturday.
Andreas Kapoulas’ side led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but fell away in the final stages as they suffer a third consecutive defeat in the competition.
Pharroh Gordon top scored with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, while Kyle Carey added 12 points and Jules Dang Akodo produced another all-round effort with nine points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
After an even start, GB began to edge away with Gordon netting twice from beyond the arc before a 9-2 run, capped by a Sedale Hanson-Young three, helped make it 25-16.
Gordon added another triple to move to 15 points for the period on 5-of-5 shooting which helped GB into a 28-22 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.
The hot start from downtown continued for GB as Josh Steel and Deane Williams joined in on the action to make it 38-24 in a 10-2 start to the second with Kapoulas’ side shooting 70% from the field at this stage.
The 14-point gap remained at the midpoint, but began to be whittled down as Poland finished the half with an 11-1 close, though GB remained in front at 43-39 at the interval.
Poland closed to within a single point with a three to start the second half, but GB held firm and responded with a 7-2 run with Gordon firing his fourth triple of the game.
Their resolve was broken by a 10-2 run from Poland as they moved 54-52 ahead. However, five points from Sam Idowu in a strong finish to the quarter helped GB take a slender 61-58 lead into the final period.
The lead was never above three points for either side as a tense finish ensued in the fourth with the game eventually tied at 71-71 with three minutes remaining.
Poland edged ahead before Dang Akodo fired GB back in front with a turnaround 3-pointer as the shotclock was expiring to make it 74-73. However, the next five points went the way of Poland as they secured victory to leave GB heading into the final day playing for seventh.
GB U20s play their final game at the European Championships tomorrow (Sunday) at 2pm UK time, where they take on either Georgia or Bosnia & Herzegovina for 7th place.
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