Sunday, 18 July 2010

Great Britain's Under-20s both advance in Euros

Old Dominion centre Mairi Buchan grabbed 17 points and 12 rebounds last night to lead Great Britain to an 70-69 upset of hosts Macedonia in the European Under-20 Championships.

Buchan’s fellow Scot Becca Allison missed two free throws in the dying seconds but it failed to prevent Damian Jennings' side from sealing the win which sends GB into the knock-out stages.

Great Britain’s men thrashed Belgium 72-53 in their final group tie to advance to the next round, led by 16 points from guard Andy Lawrence.
The result saw Tim Lewis' team seal second spot in Group C, and the top three from their section now join up with the top three sides from Group D to form a six team pool. Britain will carry their record against teams who qualified with them into the second stage, so they are currently joint third with a 1-1 record.

After playing Norway on Monday, they will face impressive Group D winners Poland on Tuesday and Slovak Republic on Wednesday. The top two sides qualify for the semi-finals. Lewis knows his team face a tough test, but is quietly confident: "We've watched Poland and Slovakia, and have played Finland in the warm-ups, so we know what to expect.

"Poland are a really tough team, while both Slovakia and Norway can beat anyone on a good night. There's no easy games at this stage by an means, but we produced a great performance on Sunday, so we'll look to repeat that.

"They're all fit, tiredness is creeping in a bit, but everyone is ready to go, and looking forward to it."

Norway opened the tournament with comfortable victories against Belarus and Romania, both of whom were eliminated at the first stage, before being hammered 91-70 by Poland. They bounced back to beat Slovakia 68-58, and go into the second stage level with GB in third spot.



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