European and Olympic hopes end for GB men basketball team

21 August 2014 / 12:53

The hopes Great Britain’s men’s basketball team had of reaching the 2015 EuroBasket and the Rio 2016 Olympics may be over but head coach Joe Prunty is adamant they still have plenty to play for.

A third successive second round qualifying defeat extinguished Britain’s EuroBasket and Olympic aspirations as visitors Iceland claimed a narrow 71-69 victory at the Copper Box.

Iceland’s double over Britain, they won the first fixture in Reykjavik, also marked the nations’ biggest result in their history with Jon Stefansson their star with 23 points having missed that opening win.

Qualification for next year’s EuroBasket proper was vital if Britain were to reach Rio 2016 however they needed to finish at least in the top two of their three-team group to keep their hopes alive.

They will now finish bottom of the second round qualifying pool however head coach Prunty insists no one on the team will given anything less than 100 per cent in the final match against Bosnia.

“We are competitors and these guys have battled from the moment we got here. There are no issues about us fighting in this last game and it is not just about pride,” he said.

“It is about more than that, because as ever, the players will be representing themselves, their team and their country.

“I liked the effort we put out on the floor and especially in the first half, when we were very much the aggressors.

“We were making a real push and had a good balance but at the start of the third quarter they began to make some big shots and got far too many offensive rebounds.

“We lost our way defensively a bit while offensively we just couldn’t get the ball into post and we have to be able to move the ball much more quickly.”

© Sportsbeat 2014