On Thursday night in Debrecen, Hungary the Standard Life Great Britain Under-20 women battled hard against Russia in their opening European Championship fixture, but came up short, losing 55-49.
Great Britain, led by point guard Renee Busch's game-high 16 points, cut an early Russian lead to just 34-36 towards the end of the third quarter. But a 13-4 run over the next 5:41 minutes by Russia helped to create some breathing room for the 2011 runners-up and extinguished any hopes Great Britain had of a shock opening night victory.
GB centre, Cheridene Green, battled hard all night and posted nine points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
After the game, GB Head Coach, Frans Griffioen, was full of praise for the 16 year old, stating that he felt she was key for his side despite being the youngest player on the court: "There was one moment in the game where the Russian's couldn't stop her, so we were looking for her on the inside," said Griffioen.
"She played very, very well. She can make big steps if she wants. She's a big talent."
For Russia, small forward Alexandra Stolyar, top scored with 13 points while Ksenia Tikhonenko pulled down 11 rebounds and scored nine points.
Great Britain's next game is on Friday 17th August against Serbia, who narrowly won their first game 68-67 with a game winning three point shot in overtime.
The Standard Life GB women's side played their first games together this year against Belarus on 12 and 13 May and new coach, Damian Jennings, is pleased with the progression of the team after the first few days of camp.
Standard Life GB men's and women's basketball squad captains Drew Sullivan and Julie Page are back in London this weekend to promote the legacy aspects of the BBL Foundations work through Proj3kt 3on3.