Friday, 21 August 2009

Achara inspires Slovene upset

Kieron Achara justified his first Great Britain start by firing a game-high 13 points to inspire a stunning 63-56 upset of Slovenia in a friendly in Seville.
It was the first win in six attempts for Chris Finch’s men in their preparations for next month’s Eurobasket finals and landed a huge psychological blow ahead of GB’s first-round clash with the Slovenes in Warsaw in 17 days time.
And Achara, who added six rebounds, admitted: “It came down to defence. We’d not been in the same league as Spain and Lithuania the past two days but we turned defence into offense and it paid off.”
With Rob Archibald and Joel Freeland sitting out with injuries, Slovenia – who fielded four NBA players – edged 9 points in front in the first half before Finch’s side cut the gap to 27-22 at half-time.
A three-pointer from Nate Reinking - who also had 13 - gave GB a narrow 44-43 cushion with one period left and eventually, Achara and skipper Drew Sullivan killed off Slovenia’s challenge with decisive late scores.
Britain, who finished third overall in the tournament, now have a week’s break before their final warm-up games in Turkey.

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