Great Britain lost 67-58 against Latvia at EuroBasket Women on Saturday.

A second half collapse cost Peter Buckle’s side the chance of a priceless first victory in Group C as Aneta Jekabsone ignited a 9-0 burst at the outset of the third period that floored GB’s hopes.

Having seen Temi Fagbenle, sporting goggles, return from sustaining a scratched eye against Russia to make an impactful early impression, it made the slide all the more painful.

Britain had accelerated 15-9 in front with Fagbenle notching 12 of her 22 points in the first quarter and they held the Latvians scoreless for over six minutes in an ugly offensive second for both rivals.

But after clinging onto a 27-26 cushion at half-time, GB regressed. Latvia pulled clear with a streak that extended to 13 straight points over the break, opening a gap that stood at 47-33 late in the third.

Even with Buckle watching his players claw back within reach at 57-51, there was to be no decisive rallying run, with Gunta Basko draining a corner three with 3:33 left which felt like a dagger.

And the Latvians resiliently kept their cool as a game-high 25 points haul from Anete Steinberga headed their charge to a first win here.


“A loss is a loss and it’s hard to be satisfied with anything that you have done when you haven’t won the game,” said the outstanding Fagbenle.

“We were just two different teams and when they put their foot down, we just couldn’t stop it defensively. We have to focus on the first half, because that was so positive and really showed what we are actually capable of. I think we just need to be a little more consistent.”

GB, who converted a miserly 5-25 in a wasteful three-point assault, now face Serbia on Sunday in what could be a must-win to keep their hopes of making the second round alive. The Serbs beat Croatia 89-72 on Saturday evening to join Russia on 2-0.

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Main pic: Mansoor Ahmed/BB

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