Prunty pride as Great Britain secure EuroBasket qualification
Basketball

Prunty pride as Great Britain secure EuroBasket qualification

17 September 2016 / 21:36
Great Britain will be return to next summer's men's EuroBasket finals, despite losing their final qualifying game.

Head Coach Joe Prunty’s side lost 82-75 in Luxembourg but results elsewhere assured they qualified to the 24 nation tournament.

Slovenia's win over Ukraine in Kiev all but sealed Great Britain’s place, with previously winless Kosovo needing to beat Bulgaria by over 20 points to stop them. 

In the end, Germany's comprehensive win over the Netherlands and Denmark's failure to beat Austria by 21 points, secured progress.

Great Britain failed to make the finals two years ago and qualified in 2013 as the hosts of the previous year’s Olympics.

"It's a tremendous accomplishment to qualify for EuroBasket 2017 and the players deserve all the credit,” said Prunty, also an assistant basketball coach for NBA side the Milwaukee Bucks.

"We have become a very good team. But we have to realise every single time you step on the floor, you're being evaluated and you have to prove yourself. The loss is disappointing but we had a goal and we accomplished it.”

The draw for next year’s tournament takes place in Istanbul in November, with games being played in Turkey, Finland, Israel and Romania next summer.

"We have to forget this game, we are qualified, that's the most important thing,” said forward Kieron Achara, who played for the British Olympic team at London 2012.

“We can be proud of what we accomplished in the last games, we deserved to qualify, Luxembourg deserved the win tonight, they wanted it more than us and they shot so well in the important moments of the game.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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