Thursday, 20 August 2009

Lithuania dismantle GB

In the words of one observer within the Great Britain camp, it was "awful". GB suffered a crushing 97-62 defeat to Olympic semi-finallists Lithuania on Thursday night in Seville as Chris Finch’s side continue to search for an elusive first win in their build-up to next month’s Eurobasket finals.

The experienced Lithuanians race into a commanding 28-10 lead in the first quarter and although GB trimmed the gap to 46-34 at half-time, the Baltic giants showed their superior class and pulled decisively in front after a 10-1 run in the third period.

It left Finch to give his reserves a run-out as he looks to determine his final 12-man squad but his best option, based on this, is to hope Ben Gordon has a late change of heart. It could have been even worse in what was the heaviest loss GB have suffered since their return to the international fray.

"(The) game was obviously a difficult one, they were a hard team to pressure," said Finch. "We conceded too many turnovers and you can't turnover so often against a team like that; they did a good job making plays from them. 

"Having said that the second quarter was one of the best quarters we've played yet, but in the third we didn't respond with another strong one."

Britain, who were led by 12 from Andy Betts, face Slovenia on Friday in a dress rehearsal for their first-round meeting at Eurobasket in just over 2 weeks time. 

Finch added: "It will be an interesting game as neither team wants to do too much or show too much before Poland. We will use it as an opportunity to look at different combinations of guys, to see who can do what."

The probable aim is not for a GB win but to start making steps forward. But with reports suggesting Pops Mensah Bonsu has reached a verbal agreement on a deal with the Houston Rockets, help may be on the way - and not before time with spirits slowly sagging.

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