Great Britain Futures lost to Lithuania’s Under-21 69-67 in the last of their three-game series in Guildford on Saturday evening.
Ogo Adegboye led the hosts with 14 points and six rebounds and six assists but in the end, a spirited performance from the Futures wasn’t enough against the consistent Lithuanian side. Andrew Lawrence, in his first appearance this summer, had the chance to win it for GB, but his three missed at the buzzer.
After the game, coach Paul Mokeski focused on how far his players had come in the three games played.
““We came together in a short week and the guys did a really good job, they played hard and pulled together as a team.
“The future of Great Britain basketball is based on the futures programme so these guys will be on the main stage on the senior team in the next two or three years.
After a slow opening, Kyle Johnson got the ball rolling with an open three from the baseline but it was the Lithuanians who started the stronger of the two sides in the opening three minutes, by out-rebounding Team GB and being the more aggressive inside.
A three by Ben Mockford and a bucket from Adegboye though gave the Futures a 14-10 lead with 4:19 remaining in the first and they extended their lead, by moving 19-12 ahead after the first quarter.
An open two-hand dunk from Ovie Soko to start the second period extended the GB Futures lead to nine but the visitors from the Baltics fought back to tie the game at 23 thanks to foul shots from Paulius Dambrauskas. Andrew Lawrence broke the Lithuanian run with a nice lay-up in traffic.
At half-time though, GB Futures were behind 36-31 as the competitive edge of their Lithuanian counterparts shone through in the final three minutes of the half.
The GB Futures started the third exceptionally though, and a lay-up from Johnson gave his side a 37-36 lead as Mokeski’s drawn-up full court press was paying dividends.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair as Lithuania again had their noses in-front 53-50 headed to the last ten minutes.
Buckets from Myles Hesson and Adegboye gave the Futures a 54-53 lead to begin the fourth, but the visitors came back and led 63-58 with just over four minutes left.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning though inspired a fightback for the Futures as he tied the game at 63 with a three-point play. But the Lithuanians held their nerve to take the win.
Notes: Devon van Oostrum skipped the game to attend a sponsored camp in Italy. At least three members of the Futures squad will be travelling to Houston this week for senior training camp.
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