- National Teams
Great Britain Senior Men put up a valiant effort before falling 101-83 to Serbia on Monday afternoon in Belgrade to round out the FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign.
Going in as overwhelming underdogs and looking to play spoiler with Serbia needing a win to punch their ticket to the World Cup, GB were tied with the Serbs early in the third quarter, before the home side turned up the heat to pull away.
With GB already having been ruled out of qualifying, Head Coach Marc Steutel is using the window to give young talent and new faces an opportunity and they have grasped it with both hands as 19 year old Quinn Ellis starred on his way to a game-high 22 points, with Amin Adamu adding 14 and new captain Carl Wheatle having 16.
“I’m exceptionally proud,” Steutel said after the game. “We had 5 players in our group who have earned their first international cap in this window, and probably an extra 2-3 players who had just 1 or 2 caps gained in the last window, so it was a really new group for us.
“We’ve had a bit of an evolution in our group so I’m exceptionally proud of the effort, the application and being in an environment as challenging as here in Belgrade, against a team with that level of experience and some Euroleague talent, I’m proud of our team, the way that we fought, the way we tried to play the style of basketball we want to play to be successful at this level.
“Ultimately, I think our guys will learn from the experience, credit to Serbia on how they managed the game, particularly in the second half when they found solutions to our defence and shot the ball really well from the three point, so credit to Serbia.
“As the coach of a young, developing Great Britain team, I’m exceptionally proud of my team tonight and excited for what the future holds for us.”
Aleksa Avramovic led Serbia with 20 points.