Great Britain beat Sweden 64-56 in their penultimate EuroBasket warm-up on Saturday in Madrid.

Quite a contrast from the 42-point humbling when these sides met two weeks earlier in Slovenia. Evidence of progress made and the benefits of adding Temi Fagbenle and Karlie Samuelson to the mix.

And although Chema Buceta’s side trailed early, they truly hit their defensive stride in the second half and began to strangle the Swedes just enough to extract revenge.

“It was a big win,” Chantelle Handy acknowledged. “We knew we had to step it up as last time we played them we didn’t play so great.”

GB now face Spain on Sunday evening with first place in the Torneo de Fuenlabrada on the line. It will be exponentially harder than this.

But Buceta will take confidence from how his team rebounded from trailing 24-15 following a torrid first period.

The screws and the tide were quickly turned. Sweden were held to just seven points in the second period as GB edged ahead with a 13-1 run before their opponents retorted to lead 31-30 at half-time.

Yet when the British found their shooting range, the momentum shifted irrevocably and a 9-2 burst in the third proved pivotal.

And although Sweden remained in pursuit, they were forced to concede foul shots as Buceta’s death line-up of Fagbenle, Samuelson, Jo Leedham, Rachael Vanderwal and Handy limited their opportunities to seal a victory which improves GB’s summer record to 3-2.

Photo: MAP

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