GB showing improvement despite warm-up loss in Israel

GB showing improvement despite warm-up loss in Israel
By Sportsbeat

14/08/2017 at 11:53Updated

Great Britain's men's basketball team may have suffered defeat to Israel in Tel Aviv but assistant coach Nate Reinking is adamant the improvement is clear to see ahead of EuroBasket 2017.

Having suffered a 90-62 defeat in a closed doors game on Saturday, GB got closer to their opponents 24 hours later – although still suffered a 78-69 loss.

Andrew Lawrence contributed 15 points, while there were double-digit marks for Dan Clark (12), Teddy Okereafor (11) and Gabe Olaseni (10) as Britain tested the hosts for long periods.

And as they head back to the UK today – ahead of a high-profile friendly against Greece at the Copper Box next Saturday – Reinking is convinced GB are heading in the right direction.

"I thought we came out really well and played with great energy, especially in the first half," he said.

"We just gave up some costly turnovers here and there which led to them getting points on the break.

"But overall, it was a great team effort. We stayed solid, Israel made a run and we couldn't knock some shots and free throws down which cost us at the end.

"We're improving every week. We're coming to London and hopefully we get a great week of practice and we keep doing that, because the goal has to be to peak at the end of August."

Clark was positive early on in Tel Aviv, with nine points in the first quarter alone, while Gareth Murray was visible from three-point range.

GB led 26-14 at the end of the first quarter and 42-41 at half-time but the Israelis, who had been unbeaten in preparation games this summer, turned up the intensity in the final two quarters.

The hosts moved 66-57 ahead by the end of the third before completing the nine-point triumph and as the teams prepare to meet again in further EuroBasket prep next week, Reinking is convinced GB will be at their peak by the time the tournament proper begins on August 31.

"Chemistry is what has impressed me the most over the past four games," he added. "I think these guys are really enjoying being around each other and that shows up on the court.

"Once we get a few more days of practice under our belt and we continue to grow, then we should be ready to go when EuroBasket hits."

Sportsbeat 2017