21 Aug 14
?Iceland turned out the lights on both the EuroBasket 2015 and Olympic aspirations of Great Britain's senior men, after taking a narrow 71-69 success in the 2nd Qualifying Round at the Copper Box Arena.
GB head coach, Joe Prunty, saw positives in the team's performance in the final quarter but conceded that his team still has a lot of work to do.
"I'm pleased with our fourth quarter showing, there were a lot of positives. Guys like Myles Hesson and Gareth Murray played well but I have got to look at the whole game really," Prunty said.
"We still have to get better and EuroBasket isn't far away now. We want to be a defensive team, that's not a question, and we are not there right now. Offensively, we want to share the basketball, again, we are not there right now. We had eight assists to Poland's 25, so we still have lots to work on and not much time to do it, but the fourth quarter was positive and we can take confidence out of that."
Stirling's Kieron Achara admits that GB were not at their best and that this is still a learning curve.
"This is a learning process for us, we are taking the positives any way we can and just learning day-by-day," Achara explained.
"Overall though, it was a disappointing game, we were below the standard we want to play at. We failed to settle into any kind of rhythm but above it all, we are staying positive as a unit and we are preparing ourselves for the next set of games."
Kyle Johnson cancelled out an early basket from Marcin Gortat in the opening possessions, but once both teams traded a three-pointer each, Poland took control. A three from Thomas Kelati put them up 13-8 and that started an 8-0 burst that was eventually broken by Justin Robinson, who scored from close range.
Poland had the advantage after the first ten minutes of play, leading 24-12.
Hesson started the second quarter for GB with a three-pointer to narrow the gap to single-digits but Poland soon got the lead back up to double-figures and kept it at that for the rest of the half. Leicester Riders' player, Sullivan, scored six points in the period, but GB still found themselves behind at half-time, 52-26.
The hosts then extended the lead to 55-26 before Johnson broke the deadlock for GB with a little under two minutes played in the third period.
Sullivan kept GB ticking along as Poland rested their starters. Great Britain finished the quarter strongly but the Poles still enjoyed a 73-44 lead heading into the final ten minutes.
GB started the fourth quarter solidly with a bucket inside from Boateng followed by a three from Achara making the score 73-49 within the first minute of the final period. GB went on to play great team basketball and another lay-up from Boateng with four minutes of the fourth played narrowed the gap to 75-53. However, Poland responded with a three-pointer to seal the victory.
Kelati led Poland with 18 points.
For full box score click here.