GB STAY PERFECT, BEAT NIGERIA

Great Britain defeated Nigeria 95-80 in their second friendly of the summer in Cobham to remain unbeaten in their EuroBasket build-up.

Devon Van Oostrum had 18 points as several young stars impressed to give coach Chris Finch a selection headache as he bids to reduce his squad ahead of next week’s Olympic test event in London.

Amid an astonishing shooting performance that produced 11 three-pointers from just 18 attempts, GB had two each from Ogo Adegboye and Nate Reinking in dominating the first quarter 27-12 and although Nigeria made a strong response in the second quarter, Van Oostrum injected pace back into the GB offence.

Mike Lenzly laid down a marker for a trip to Eurobasket with seven points in the third quarter as Nigeria, led by 21 points from San Antonio’s Ime Udoka and 27 from Derrick Obasohan, came back again.

Adegboye finished with 13 points and Lenzly’s 12 points was one of a number of performances that make Finch’s trimming of his squad such a surgical exercise. Ryan Richards produced another assured performance which suggested he will hard to exclude.

“We’ve got a lot of very tough decisions to make,” said Finch. “There’s a case that can be made for virtually all of our guys. I feel for a lot of these guys cos they’re really pouring their heart into it – but that’s what we wanted.

“Long gone are the days when we begged players to come – now they’re coming Along with the attitude that they’re here to get spots on the team. All power to them.”

GB only prevailed in the fourth quarter, when Kyle Johnson hit three threes to open the quarter to open a 16-points gap (84-68) and further complicate the selection process.

As things stand – with Luol Deng and Robert Archibald set to join the squad in the next week – Finch has to lose six players before the Olympic test event in London. The places of some of the veterans who have been with the team for the last four years could even be in jeopardy.

“There’s always that risk but experience is invaluable,” said Finch. “We know that next week is another step up. Lithuania will be even another step further.”

Notes: GB rested Drew Sullivan, Dan Clark and Joel Freeland for this one. Alex Marcotullio is injured.

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