GB LOSE OUT IN THRILLER TO CROATIA

Great Britain’s women were squeezed out 77-74 by Croatia in their second warm-up friendly of their pre-Olympic tour.

But there were heartening signs from Tom Maher’s side who threatened an upset when they went eight points ahead in the fourth quarter before their hosts produced an emphatic rally.

Two games in, and the Australian coach will take the positives from pushing a team that was a EuroBasket Women quarter-finallist 12 months ago, especially after losing 81-59 the previous evening.

GB, paced by 14 points from Azania Stewart, were up 27-23 after the opening period before a 19-5 run put the Croats seemingly in command.

However the visitors fired six unanswered points to cut the deficit to 48-43 at half-time and they continued to shift the momentum in their favour.

An upset was on the cards.

However Croatia, preparing for next month’s Olympic qualifiers, delivered a 7-2 flurry over the final five minutes.

And GB, who were 1/8 from three-point range at that point, fared no better on their tenth attempt as Natalie Stafford’s bid to force overtime rimmed out.

“We wanted to concentrate more on the things we didn’t do yesterday, so that was communication and working on our defence,” said Stewart.

“As a team we did really well. We’re just making strides forward.”

Ana Lelas had a game-high 15 for the hosts.

Belgium is the next destination for the side with a four-nation tournament this weekend that tips off with GB facing Ukraine on Friday.

Pic: Fiba Europe

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