LAWRENCE READY FOR NEXT STOP

In the end the game meant nothing.

Defeat to Luxembourg in the final group game would not prevent Great Britain from reaching EuroBasket 2017, results elsewhere would confirm that, but Andrew Lawrence was having to come to terms balancing the joy of qualifying with the pain of defeat.

“It’s a roller-coaster of emotions,” the GB guard admitted afterwards.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow losing that game and we gave up one we definitely should have won.”

He added, “During the game we weren’t worried about the other results, we were just focused on our own game.

“So afterwards, when we found out we’d qualified, it was a real mix of emotions.

“Disappointed we lost, but happy with the qualification.”

Lawrence received a lot of praise during the qualifiers and rightly so, with the Londoner leading GB in scoring with a 14.3 points per game average coming off the bench.

It’s worth remembering that he’s put in a number of big performances after battling back from a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of the EuroBasket 2015 qualifying.

While Lawrence appreciates the plaudits,he prefers to find his own motivation to keep improving.

“I try not to focus on anything negative or positive, just go out there and play,” he said.

“I’m not really looking for outside sources to give me any confidence, I get it all from [my GB teammates] at practice every day.

“It’s very nice when you do read it as your family and friends will comment on stuff like that and it’s nice to hear.”

Lawrence says he takes immense pride in being able to wear the GBjersey and still has goals he wants to achieve with the national team.

“I need to keep working as I’m trying to be one of the best players Great Britain’s ever had,” he said.

“I want to be around for a long time and will just try to keep improving.”

In the long-term future, Lawrence is hoping to have a successful tournament next summer.

“I’ve very happy to be going to EuroBasket,” said the GB guard.

“It’s a huge deal as we’re playing against the top teams again, which is where I think we belong.”

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