- National Teams
Great Britain Under-20’s unbeaten run at the European Championships came to an end on Wednesday afternoon after they were beaten 82-61 by tournament hosts, Greece, in Chalkida.
Andreas Kapoulas’ side finish Group C in second place with a 4-1 record and continue their quest for promotion with a last eight clash with Croatia, who topped Group D with four wins from four.
Jules Dang Akodo top scored with 12 points and also handed out six assists, while Deane Williams and Callum Lawson were also in double figures with 10 points apiece.
After Greece had scored the first four points of the game, Sam Idowu got GB off the mark with his second 3-pointer of the tournament. The hosts began to impose themselves and seized control with a run of 13 unanswered points over a five-minute spell.
GB enjoyed a stronger finish to the quarter and scores from Kingsley Nwagboso and Andre Arissol closed the period with their side 10 points adrift at 19-9.
Another bright spell saw five quick-fire points including a three from Pharroh Gordon as GB cut the gap to eight points, before Greece went on an 8-0 run to double their advantage.
The lead continued to grow for the home side and a further 10-0 run helped Greece into a 44-22 half-time lead with Callum Lawson netting a triple in the final minute for GB.
When play resumed for the second half, GB came out firing with Kyle Carey scoring the first seven points in an impressive 14-2 run to cut the deficit to just 10 points.
Greece steadied the ship with a 9-1 response, but five points from Dang Akodo and two free throws from Lawson ensured GB won the third quarter 22-16 as they headed into the final period, trailing 60-44.
The two teams traded baskets at the start of the fourth, but Greece went on a 14-3 burst to grow their lead beyond the 25-point mark. GB continued to battle and scored seven straight as Dang Akodo moved into double figures and Fraser Malcolm added a three off the bench.
Greece were able to round out a 21-point victory, but GB can take heart from a battling performance against a strong side that had been averaging 90+ points per game prior in this tournament, whilst conceding less than 48 points in every outing.
GB made a total of 10 3-pointers during the contest and out-rebounded their opponents 44-36.
GB U20s will now take on Croatia in the quarter-finals on Friday at 2:30pm UK time, needing a win to keep alive their promotion hopes.