Dan Clark : GB v LatviaGreat Britain were edged out 77-73 by Latvia in a friendly in Worcester at the start of their build-up to next month’s EuroBasket qualifiers.

The visitors came from behind to out-score Joe Prunty’s men 13-5 over the final four minutes and steal victory.

“Obviously, we’d like to win but I thought we had a lot of positive things, in terms of moving the ball well,” Prunty said. “We had 19 assists, our turnovers are around 14 a game.

“There was a lot of things that we did well that I’d say we can still improve upon. I’d like to see lower turnovers even though 14 is really good. I’d like to see us take better shots but I think part of that is getting comfortable with each other, since we’ve only been together 3 and a half days.”

GB, paced by 15 points from Dan Clark, raced out to a 15-5 start in the opening period before Latvia rallied to trail 35-34 at half-time.

With momentum shifting, the hosts were down nine in the third quarter before a 14-2 run wiped out the deficit but it was the guests, headed by 15 from Janis Strelnieks, who delivered a decisive late burst.

Achara added seven points and six boards (Map Photos)

Achara added seven points and six boards (Map Photos)

The sides meet again on Sunday.

Game stats 

Glasgow Rocks forward Gareth Murray has pledged to channel his frustrations from last season into keeping his place in the team.

The 29-year-old Scot claimed his eighth cap in GB’s opening friendly of their campaign against Latvia on Worcester with the side missing NBA pair Luol Deng and Joel Freeland.

Following the sport’s funding axe, Prunty has vowed to lean on his old hands with a lack of cash curtailing the build-up. And Murray hopes his insight from last year, when he unexpectedly cracked the starting line-up, will serve him well.

“I’ve got that experience behind me from last year so it’s about doing what the coaches want,” he said. “I know I’m capable of doing it. I just know my role is to play defence and hit shots. Hopefully if I do that, coach will keep me there.”

Murray is out of contract in Glasgow and may still consider an overseas switch following a torrid season with the Rocks that dented his pride.

“After last season, I was so disappointed,” he said. “I’d never finished that low in the league. Never not made the play-offs. I had to get past that and move on. I’ve not got anything yet club-wise. My options are still open. We’re looking to see what comes up. I’ve not ruled out coming back to the Rocks completely. But I’m trying to find the right fit for me.”

Prunty has cut Leicester Riders guard Conner Washington but is still waiting the arrival of Ogo Adegboye and Matthew Bryan-Amaning who have yet to report. Ali Fraser and Orlan Jackman will not play against the Latvians.

And the newly-appointed Milwaukee Bucks assistant concedes that time is of the essence to get ready for the qualifiers.

“It is a very short amount of time to prep for games,” he said. “And not just for Latvia. We’ve only have three or four days before going out to Belgium, then three days before we go to Georgia and then it all starts.

“We’ve had to hit the ground running, The continuity helps but it’s still not ideal. Last year we had the time to ease into it. Here, we’ve had to go straight into teaching offense and defence.”

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