- National Teams
Great Britain’s Senior suffered an 82-75 defeat against Luxembourg on Saturday evening, but had their place at EuroBasket 2017 secured minutes beforehand.
Joe Prunty’s side finish 3-3 in Group G, but other results went their way and celebrations can begin despite the surprise seven-point loss.
The result had no baring on their chances with games against the fourth-placed side not counting towards the second-placed ranking.
Andrew Lawrence top scored with 16 points in the defeat, while Gabe Olaseni racked up a big double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds and Kyle Johnson added 14 points.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment to qualify for EuroBasket 2017 and the players deserve all the credit,” said Head Coach Joe Prunty after the game.
“We have become a very good team. But we have to realise every single time you step on the floor, you’re being evaluated and you have to prove yourself. The loss is disappointing. But we had a goal and we accomplished it.”
Kieron Achara said, “We have to forget this game, we are qualified, that’s the most important thing. We can be proud of what we accomplished in the last games, we deserved to qualify, Luxembourg deserved the win tonight, they wanted it more than us. And they shot so well in the important moments of the game.”
GB were behind at the end of the opening period, but overcame the early 24-23 deficit with an improved second quarter and went into half-time with a 45-38 advantage behind 15 points from Lawrence.
However, the tide turned again in the third and the hosts doubled GB’s 13-point tally for the period as they surged ahead at 63-58.
Having been up by as many as 10 points earlier in the game, the visitors were trailing by 13 at 78-65 inside the final three minutes. A 10-0 run made it a one-possession game, but GB fell short as Luxembourg scored the last five points to seal the win.