EUROBASKET: GB STUFFED BY TURKEY

Great Britain were hammered 90-61 by Turkey in their second EuroBasket group game to fall to 0-2.

Luol Deng scored a game-high 22 points but GB never recovered from an appalling first quarter in Panevezys to remain without a win in the tournament.

And it will take a stunning recovery from Chris Finch’s men to break their duck on Friday afternoon when they face defending champions Spain.

Britain were subjected to a barrage in the opening quarter that left them dazed and confused.  Up 17-3 after 7 minutes, Turkey then hit 13 consecutive points in the second quarter to confirm their dominance and although Deng keyed an 8-0 run, GB trailed 44-26 at half-time.

“Our biggest disappointment was covering the three-point line early,” said Finch.

“We didn’t do a good job. We were very non-aggressive in the first quarter. We didn’t attack the basket.”

Any hope of a rally was quickly extinguished. Deng’s team-mate in Chicago, Omer Asik, helped inflict more damage inside and Ersan Ilyasova capped a 10-2 run in the third that forced Finch a timeout with his team trailing 59-35.

Kyle Johnson had a bright cameo off the bench (Map Photos)

Devon van Oostrum, given 21 minutes in his first extended action in Lithuania, delivered a cameo that included a drunk on Ilyasova that helped cut the deficit to 64-43 headed into the fourth. Kyle Johnson also impressed during his brief competitive debut, adding 10 points.

However Finch remained frustrated, picking up his second technical in as any games. And his mood was barely enlightened as the Turks sealed the rout with another 8-0 burst in the fourth period that just increased GB’s misery.

“Our mantra was just to compete and play hard,” said Eric Boateng who had 4 points and 7 rebounds in a bench effort that, at least, was vastly better than in the opening defeat to Lithuania.

“That’s what we did. But all credit to Turkey. They fought hard and we have to learn from this and be prepared for our next game.”

The Turks, who had another brilliant showing from Utah Jazz draftee Enes Kanter, now take on Lithuania on Friday in the clash of Group A’s Big Three. It should be tougher.

“GB played great against Lithuania and had a great shot to win, but I believe that game made them a little tired,” said Turkish coach Orhun Ene. “And today we were fresh having had an easier start.”

Earlier, Spain cruised past Portugal 87-73, led by 20 points from LA Lakers centre Pau Gasol while Lithuanian coasted by Poland 97-77, paced by Mantas Kalnietis’ 19 points.

Notes: Robert Archibald missed the tie through illness and likely is also out of Friday’s game versus Spain. Great Britain denied a rumour, circulating in a Turkish publication, that Joel Freeland was taken to hospital last night. Freeland was replaced in the starting line-up by Drew Sullivan.

Results. Group A: Great Britain 61 Turkey 90,  Lithuania 97 Poland 77, Spain 87 Portugal 73 Group B: Serbia 92 Latvia 77, France 85 Israel 68,Germany 76 Italy 62 Group C: Bosnia 84 Montenegro 76, Greece 81 Finland 61, Macedonia 78 Croatia 76. Group D: Bulgaria 68 Belgium 65, Russia 65 Georgia 58, Slovenia 68 Ukraine 64

 

 

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