Britain downed by Greece in overtime of World Cup qualifier

Britain downed by Greece in overtime of World Cup qualifier
By Sportsbeat

26/11/2017 at 04:56

Life after Joe Prunty began with a bump for Britain's basketball men as they were beaten 95-92 in overtime by Greece.

The World Cup qualifier was Britain's first match since Prunty left his role as head coach, being replaced by Tony Garbelotto, and the new man in charge was left celebrating only the effort of his players rather than a victory.

Tied at 83 on the final buzzer, the game went into overtime and Greece won it with just 3.4 seconds remaining as Ioannis Athinalou drained a three-pointer to sink Britain's hopes.

"First of all, I am proud of the guys for the way they fought to get themselves back in the game, it was a miracle comeback against a team of that level," said Garbelotto.

"It is a new coaching staff and we have some new guys in there and I take responsibility because that is a win that GB has to convert."

Starting with Teddy Okereafor, Luke Nelson, Dan Clark, Ovie Soko and Gareth Murray, Britain began well and led by a point at the end of the first quarter.

The visitors' shooting from beyond the arc was a standout quality, netting seven from 12 and limiting their opposition to just 27 per cent success from distance, but it was inside the alley that the Greeks did their damage.

Ioannis Bourousis dominated in the paint as the half ended level at 37-apiece and with just one quarter to play things were still tight as Greece led 55-54.

The home side led by as many as 12 in the final ten minutes, and their advantage was still at nine with just over a minute to play.

But Murray and Tarik Phillip led a remarkable comeback for the Brits that was all to be in vain after Athinalou drained the winning bucket in overtime.

Okereafor was not downbeat after the defeat, though.

"I think we fought hard, we played and showed the effort that we need to show from the first minute of the game and take advantage of it by making smarter plays," he said.

"With a new coaching staff and some guys getting their first cap today, it was a great effort and I am proud of how we fought. Moving forward, we have nothing to worry about."

Sportsbeat 2017