- National Teams
Great Britain Senior Men continued their preparations for EuroBasket 2017 with an 82-64 victory over Hungary in Legionowo, Poland, on Thursday.
Joe Prunty’s side – reduced down to the final 12 as announced earlier today – avenged last year’s defeats in the EuroBasket 2017 qualifiers to pick up their second win of the summer.
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Gabe Olaseni led the way with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting along with nine rebounds, while Dan Clark also had 14 points with Andrew Lawrence and Kieron Achara adding 13 points apiece.
Luke Nelson handed out a game-high six assists with Teddy Okereafor dishing out five to go with seven points.
Olaseni commented: “It’s great to get a win under our belts. We lost out twice to these guys in the qualifiers last year and that was in our memory. We just tried to execute the game plan as best as we could and we were lucky enough to get a big win. It’s especially good in the week going into EuroBasket, it’s all positives.
“Losses like the one against Greece always affect a team like us, we’re a team of competitors. A tough loss like that being so recent is always in the back of your mind and we could have won that. But this time, we executed the gameplan and we’ll take the win.”
Head Coach Joe Prunty added: “The thing I like about this group is the chemistry. We spoke five years ago about creating a family culture so it was interesting to see the older guys retain the system in place and the younger guys pick it up and learn the terminology. That was interesting to watch because five years ago, everybody was trying to learn the system.
“I think we’ve got a very versatile team, You’ve got several players who’ve been together for a while and a young core working their way up. They fit in with the style of play and the culture.
“Opening day against Belgium will be big so it was nice to win today, but I loved our games against Israel and Greece, because they showed us some good things to work on and improve on.”
It was Nelson, who scored the first four points of the game before a 7-0 response from Hungary. Gareth Murray helped re-gain the lead with a trey in the midst of a 12-0 run as GB led 20-15 after 10 minutes.
Hungary made a 15-6 start to the second to move ahead by five, but Lawrence sparked a 9-0 close to the half to see GB go into the break with a 41-35 advantage – shooting 70% from inside the arc.
Adam Hanga continued to be the main scoring threat for Hungary – much like last summer – moving to 14 points as the gap was cut in half. GB kept their opponents at bay with Olaseni scoring six points in an 11-3 spell to help push the lead out to 58-47.
Okereafor’s triple ended the quarter to make it 61-48 and the lead continued to grow early in the fourth. GB finished on a high with Ben Mockford netting a late three as the differential hit 20 points for the first time with the win wrapped up.
Hanga had a team-high 14 points for Hungary in defeat.
GB face tournament hosts, Poland, tomorrow before taking on Israel in their final prep game.