SWEDEN EXTEND GB’S LOSING RUN

Standard Life Game On 2012, Great Britain v Portugal, July 15 2012.Great Britain slumped to a 85-68 defeat to Sweden on Friday in Lublin as their preparations for EuroBasket took another damaging blow.

Joe Prunty’s side barely recovered from a torrid start which saw them pummelled by Charlotte Bobcats rookie Jeffery Taylor who had 14 of his game-high 33 points in the opening quarter of his international debut.

With GB held scoreless for 6:37, the Swedes went on a 14-0 run to move 31-12 ahead in the second period and they were never headed again with their opponents unable to convert on the fast break and shooting just 37% in the first half as they trailed 48-29 at the break.

Their advantage peaked at 61-37 midway through the third but Britain – paced by a team-high 14 points from Eric Boateng – out-scored their foes 14-0 during a promising stretch which re-ignited the contest, cutting the deficit to 63-54 headed into the fourth.

But they could not sustain the fightback as Sweden pulled decisively away once more.

“Defensively, we had lapses, particularly late in the first quarter and into the latter part of the second quarter,” said Prunty.

“So we had a stretch at the beginning of the game in the first five minutes and again in the first five minutes of the second where we calmed ourselves down, but those runs hurt us. We had a good third quarter and we talked at half-time about getting the lead down to ten and accomplished that goal and we wanted to continue that in the fourth but it just didn’t happen.”

Kyle Johnson added 13 for GB and Kieron Achara 11.

It was a third successive loss for GB, who take on Poland on Saturday in their final game before Prunty confirms his 12-strong squad for Slovenia.

Detroit Pistons reserve Jonas Jerebko added 19 for the visitors.

“It was fun to see how well Jonas and Jeff played together,” said Swedish coach Brad Dean. “Jonas, we feel the little better and know how good he is and with what energy he always plays. What many forget with Jeff is actually how good he is. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by his athletic ability and how spectacular he is and therefore miss the high basketball IQ he has.

“Jeff can shoot, handle the ball, create for others and also play elite defence. They are very good on the highest level and I am quite sure that both will have really good seasons in the NBA next season.”

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Notes

GB starters: Adegboye, Johnson, Sullivan, Achara, Boateng. Paul Guede was called in as cover but did not feature on the roster. Prunty confirmed Dan Clark is continuing to rehab his injury but says he is focusing on existing squad. Orlan Jackman was a DNP-CD. Liam Potter was excused for family reasons.

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