GB FALL AGAIN TO LATVIANS

AP_GBSRM_LAT_19072014_6526 2Great Britain have begun their build-up to next month’s EuroBasket qualifiers 0-for-2 after a 76-68 defeat to Latvia on Sunday.

Joe Prunty’s men led only briefly twice after their guests took control by surging 12 in front in the opening period but there was a bright cameo from Ashley Hamilton who sparked a 13-0 run that had GB ahead midway through the second.

With Latvia 33-32 ahead at half-time, GB’s challenged faded as they conceded nine straight points and although they threatened a rally, their guests eventually swept as much as 13 clear to complete the clean sweep from their trip, despite a game-high 19 points from Dan Clark.

Prunty now takes his side to Belgium for two friendlies against the Lions on Friday and Saturday.

Janis Blums scored 17 for Latvia. Ali Fraser and Orlan Jackman were again left out.

U20 reach new heights

Great Britain’s Under-20 men achieved their highest-ever finish in a European Championships by holding off Slovenia 85-82 in the playoff for 11th place.

GB, paced by 17 points from Luke Nelson, almost squandered an early 17-point lead and were made to sweat in the closing seconds when Scottish forward Grant Mackay missed two free throws before the Slovenes came up short on their attempt to force overtime.

Scotland’s women came fourth in their Europeans, losing 66-59 to Malta in the bronze medal playoff.

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