Saturday, 15 August 2009

Brits are Pole-axed

Short-handed Great Britain crashed to a heavy 70-56 defeat to Poland in their opening tie of the Game On tournament at London’s 02 Arena.

Chris Finch’s injury-struck side battled into an early 24-18 lead before the visitors took advantage of GB’s under-strength front line to size a 30-27 half-time cushion. NBA Draftee Joel Freeland fired a game-high 16 points to try and spark the home resistance but Poland reeled off a 16-0 run in the third period to tighten their grip.

And despite an injury to NBA ace Marcin Gortat, they turned the screw as the makeshift GB line-up fell as much as 19 behind.

"There is no question that having such a big chunk of the team does have an effect but that's not to say there are not players here who are are talented enough to get it done," said Finch.

"Maybe one or two of those who came in were inexperienced and some combinations were not properly tried but that's what these pre-season games are for. And let's get one thing straight. All those players missing are missing for legitimate reasons - they are all still very much behind the team.

"Some of the executions were not great and we missed ten free throws but that's to be expected in the first game - that's basketball. "And we still have plenty of postives to take. Joel played very well. Every game that we play is huge for us in terms of development and today was no different. "But to get good at something like basketball you need to grow organically and that takes time."

Kieron Achara and Flinder Boyd should return for Britain on Saturday when they meet favourites Turkey, who routed Israel 85-69.

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