Great Britain Senior Men Keep Hopes Alive with First Win - Hoopsfix.com

Great Britain Senior Men Keep Hopes Alive with First Win

Great Britain Senior Men staved off elimination in the FIBA 2019 World Cup Qualifiers as they secured a 74-65 victory over Estonia at Emirates Arena, on Friday.

Alberto Lorenzo’s side trailed by seven early in the third, but produced a strong finish and were able to hold on to ensure their hopes of advancing continue into Monday where they must beat Israel.

Dan Clark starred with a 20-point haul to lead GB, while Gabe Olaseni produced a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds

Box score.

Clark scored GB’s first four points, but they found themselves down 4-8 at the midpoint in the opening period. Back-to-back triples from debutant Mo Soluade fired GB into their first lead at 14-12 before the visitors responded with an 8-2 lead.

Justin Robinson – BBL league MVP last season – beat the first quarter buzzer from beyond the arc to cut GB’s deficit to 19-20. Upon resumption, Kieron Achara checked in on his 100th GB appearance and the Stirling native edged his side back ahead from the foul line.

Neither side was able to seize control in the contest, but it was Estonia who managed to build a five-point advantage heading into the half-time break.

The lead peaked at seven early in the third, but Clark netted twice from 3-point range in an 11-2 run to put GB ahead at 45-43. Estonia were quick to restore their advantage and kept GB at bay for the rest of the quarter until the final seconds when Olaseni’s tip-in made it 54-53 ahead of the final 10 minutes.

The momentum was with the home side and a thunderous dunk from Olaseni lifted the crowd before Gareth Murray connected from three on his home court to extend the lead. Another three from Soluade was followed by another dunk from Olaseni as the lead hit 11 points at 64-53 with six minutes remaining.

Estonia cut the gap to six, but Clark was on hand once more to keep GB ticking over as they edged closer to their maiden win in Group H. The last few points when the way of the visitors, though it did not change the result as GB secured a nine-point win.

Notes

– GB’s starters were Mo Soluade, Tarik Phillip, Gareth Murray, Dan Clark & Gabe Olaseni
– GB were beaten 73-70 when the two teams met in Talinn in November
– Kieron Achara became GB’s latest centurion, following on from Eric Boateng and Drew Sullivan
– Ryan Richards and Josh Steel were not part of the 12
– GB play their final First Round qualifier on Monday against Israel

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