CLARK PILOTS GB TO WARM-UP WONDER

Great Britain thrashed Israel 85-64 in Warsaw on Saturday in their final tune-up ahead of the EuroBasket finals.

Dan Clark scored 25 points – including six-of-seven from three-point range – as GB pulled away in the third quarter.

Joe Prunty’s side meet Belgium on Friday in their group opener but will have to replace young star Carl Wheatle who has been ruled out due to a knee injury.

But GB captain Kieron Achara said: “We need to go to Istanbul and be prepared to fight for every win.”

Topping the table by virtue of beating Hungary on Thursday before a narrow loss to Poland, the Brits  again made a confident start, leading 11-3 on two threes from Clark and then stretching the lead out to 23-12 with good passing from Teddy Okereafor and Luke Nelson and another three from Clark.

Ben Mockford entered the fray to open the scoring with a three for GB in the second quarter and GB were not in a mood to let up. They stretched the lead to 38-23 with Nelson and Eric Boateng baskets before Israel came back though NBA star Omri Caspi. GB hit the last five points of the half – the last three from Dan Clark’s fourth long-range effort, to lead 45-30.

Israel were kept at bay at the start of the second half and then buckled with three threes in a row, from Clark, Lawrence and Clark again to lead by 61-42 late in the third.

It was in the fourth quarter that GB suddenly made the push for the tournament win. Needing 18 points to be sure of the title, they hit 11 unanswered points, ignited by a three from Kyle Johnson, to lead by 22.

Israel had no answers in the final minutes and GB’s strong defensive rebounding, plus another three from Johnson paid off.

All of GB’s players scored points, with Gabriel Olaseni and Luke Nelson backing up Clark’s efforts with nine points each.

(Pic: Mansoor Ahmed)

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