Great Britain were squeezed out 75-70 by Greece in Crete to slash their World Cup qualifying hopes.

It leaves GB, who were led by 16 points and 11 rebounds from Dan Clark, 0-4 and bottom of their group as their rivals booked their spot in the second phase of the competition with two games to spare.

A three from Teddy Okereafor capped a 7-2 start for the visitors in another bright start as they had made in Friday’s loss to Israel. GB led 23-20 after 10 minutes and extended their advantage late in the second as Luke Nelson’s late triple made it a 7-point gap at 46-39 heading into half-time.

As the unbeaten hosts began to battle back in the third quarter, it was another late three from Nelson that kept GB ahead at 58-56 ahead of the final 10 minutes.

Greece edged back in front in a tense fourth period with Gareth Murray restoring the GB advantage with a three that made it 67-66 with 2:12 left.

However, Ioannis Bourousis stepped up for the hosts and his three-point play proved decisive as Greece closed out the win.

“It was a really tough loss for us because we were running the game and we truly believed we could do it,” said GB’s caretaker coach Alberto Lorenzo.

“It was in the last minute that we lost the game as it was close all the way.

“We played a smart game, especially in the first half – the players made good decisions. But as the game went on, our decisions got worse and we made turnovers in critical moments which lost us confidence. But we must still feel really proud about this game.

“The difference was only the experience between the players. They did not make the same mistakes.”

GB will look to re-group ahead of the summer window when they host Estonia and Israel at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in two games which are now, absolutely, must-win.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Estonia surprised Israel 78-62 to deepen GB’s problems.

Group standings: 1. Greece 4-0, 2. Israel 2-2, 3. Estonia 2-2, 4. Great Britain 0-4

Game stats

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