GB KEEP HOPES ALIVE WITH LATVIAN UPSET

Renee Busch hit 20 points as Great Britain grabbed their first victory at the U20 European Championship Women by knocking off last year’s bronze medallists Latvia 71-64.

Looking for their first win since winning promotion last year, Britain rallied from a double-digit first quarter deficit to dominate most of the game.

But with Spain hammering Slovakia 59-27, Damian Jennings side may not even need to beat the Spaniards on Saturday to qualify for the second phase.

Things did not look promising for Britain early on as Latvia, powered by the explosive Kristine Vitola, pulled out to a commanding lead.

Vitola had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter alone as Latvia took a 24-11 lead early on.

But Britain turned the tide with an outstanding second stanza. Vitola went scoreless in the period, while Erin McGarrachan came to the fore with eight points and Temi Fagbenle made her presence felt inside.

A 14-2 run, capped by two baskets from McGarrachan, gave Britain a 34-31 lead and they were up by five at the break.

Britain’s new-found intensity did not drop in the second half and their lead bulged to 12, 49-37, on a three-pointer from Busch.

Latvia kept battling, getting back to within single figures on a Vitola lay-up with 6:49 to go that made it 60-52.

The gap shrunk to seven before another GB run, capped by Kristie Sheils jump-shot, made it 67-56 with 2:58 to go, and Britain hung on.

Katrin Chiemeka (pictured above) added 11. Vitola led Latvia with 25 points.

 

Men suffer double Belgium blow

Great Britain’s U20 men will go into their European Championship in Sarajevo next week on the back of two defeats after losing their series with Belgium 2-0.

Tim Lewis’ side followed up Wednesday’s 94-71 humbling with a 95-74 loss, despite 25 points and 8 rebounds from Ryan Richards.


 

Pic: Dan Wooller/wooller.com

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