31 Aug 16
Great Britain's Senior Men got their Eurobasket qualification campaign off to a difficult start this evening in the side's first game against Hungary.
Devon van Oostrum led from the front again with 22 points, supported by Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Nick Lewis, who each scored 12 points in a winning effort.
GB under-20 head coach Doug Leichner said: "We respect Hungary a lot, we mentioned how physical they are and how well they rebound. For us the game was won in the paint and we were able to get that done."
For van Oostrum, he was proud of his team's performance overall and is even prouder to get promotion.
"It feels wonderful," he said. "Five years I've been waiting for this and we've done it."
Three-pointers from Thomas-Edwards and Joe Hart gave GB a bright start as they led 6-2, but Hungary fought back and played the better basketball for periods of the opening ten minutes, opening up a 17-12 lead.
Great Britain re-grouped and hit back themselves, thanks to John Stewart and Lewis who made sure the Brits ended the first quarter in the lead at 24-17.
Croydon-born Matthew Don scored early in the second quarter to give GB its first double-digit lead of the game at 28-17 and they continued to press Hungary, forcing them into committing fouls and turnovers. Hungary ended the half the stronger of the two sides though, finishing on a 9-3 burst, but GB still led 39-33 as they headed into the locker rooms.
Despite Rowell Graham connecting on the opening bucket of the third period, Hungary continued their push on narrowing the margin, and GB conceded the lead with just under four minutes played in the quarter as a lay-up from Luka Markovic made it 42-41.
GB though came back strong and back-to-back lay-ups from van Oostrum and Zac Wells restored Britain's cushion at 47-43. However, it was only temporary as Hungary retook the lead and hung on to keep it at 51-49 after three quarters of play.
Great Britain and in particular van Oostrum stole the show in the final period. His three-pointer after a bucket from Don gave GB a 54-51 lead in the early stages and he would go on to score 11 more points in the fourth to secure the win, a place in the final and promotion.
For full box score please click here.