Great Britain lost 65-54 to Slovakia on Friday evening in Riga in their penultimate warm-up before the Eurobasket finals.

And Tom Maher’s side – led by 10 points from Nat Stafford – were left to rue a poor fourth quarter as their challenge fell away, leaving the Australian with some work to do as the countdown begins in earnest to Poland.

GB, coming off a heavy loss to Latvia 24 hours earlier, swept into a 19-12 lead in the first quarter but were punished for defensive lapses.

The Slovaks surged in the second period to move 36-34 in front by half-time and although their lead was just 50-46 headed into the final stanza, they accelerated.

Out-scored 15-8 in the closing stages, Britain could not hold on despite 9 points and 5 rebounds from captain Julie Page.

The two sides will meet again next Wednesday in a single friendly before Maher takes his team onward to begin their European campaign. Chantelle Handy, who scored 7 points on Friday, is due to win her 50th cap in that outing.

“The game today was a tough one but we have to continue to keep energy high and keep the hype up,” she said. “We regroup when we get back to camp. We have another game in Slovakia and we’ll be ready to go for the Euros.”

Under 20s sustain second reverse

Great Britain’s Under-20 side lost 62-45 to France in the second friendly of the summer in Temple-sur-Lots on Friday.

The hosts led from start to finish, pulling away with a 6-0 start en route to taking a 34-21 half-time cushion.

And, with Clementine Samson pacing France with 14 points, her side took a 2-0 lead in the series with the final game on Saturday.

“We once against showed that we can compete, and made improvement in our post defence ball screen cover, particularly,” GB coach Damian Jennings told the BB website.

“France added five better players to their roster tonight, and I thought we handled their changes well. We out-rebounded them and found some joy taking them deep into the shot clock.”

Temi Fagbenie and Jess Hurd led the scoring for GB with 10 points each but the former picked up an injury and will join Becca Allison on the sidelines.



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