ISRAEL BLOCK GB’S PATH

Great Britain are crowded out as they lose 82-75 in Israel in their third World Cup qualifier in Tel Aviv.

Gabe Olaseni grabbed a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds but it was able to stop GB falling to 0-3 in their group – leaving their hopes on the brink of evaporation ahead of Sunday’s trip onward to Greece.

Guy Pnini led the hosts with 18 points and it was his flurry against a seemingly tiring visitors that capped an Israeli comeback from as much as 59-49 midway through the third.

An immediate 9-0 run killed off any hope that interim coach Alberto Lorenzo might oversee a rout and the hosts surged in front on the fourth in what turned into a 17-4 burst.

And although Gareth Murray hit a three-pointer that put GB 73-72 ahead with 2:45 left, Pnini stepped up and the Brits were left behind.

“I thought we did a good job in the first half and during the first minutes of the third quarter. But, we kind of lost that advantage, so for me, that is where we lost the momentum of the game,” Lorenzo said.

“At the end we were in a situation of switching on defence and we were still involved in the game, but we made many turnovers in the fourth quarter.”

Better will be needed against the Greeks but it was one that got away.

“I don’t know exactly the time that we lost our advantage in that third quarter but it was in just two or three minutes,” added Lorenzo.

“At that time, the mind of the players switched and we started to feel like we were losers.”

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Photos: Mansoor Ahmed

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