GB lose to Serbia in Olympic test event thriller

London International Basketball Invitational (Olympic test event)

Venue:
Basketball Arena, Olympic Park, London
Date:
16-21 August
Teams:
Australia, China, Croatia, France, Great Britain, Serbia
Match times:
1500 BST, 1800 and 2030
Coverage:
Watch GB v China (1800 BST, Saturday 20 August) and GB v Australia (1800 BST, Sunday 21 August) on the BBC Red Button
Andrew Lawrence of Great Britain in action during the match between Great Britain and Serbia.

Great Britain are still without a win at the Olympic test event after falling to Serbia, 97-95.

In a thrilling encounter, the game was tied 44-44 at half-time, but Serbia's basket in the final seconds denied GB victory.

GB coach Chris Finch said: "Even when we were down we played extremely well.

"If we keep playing like this, we'll put ourselves in a position to get some wins."

Serbia moved the ball well in the first quarter but struggled to convert. GB meanwhile, showed confidence on the attack as they netted seven of nine from the three-point line to end 22-18 up.

Head coach Finch made use of his bench, bringing on Eric Boateng towards the end of the half, who immediately sunk two to hold on to Britain's narrow lead, 41-39 with 1:45 to play.

Whilst Britain maintained their lively start Serbia stepped up a gear to post 26 points compared to GB's 22 to tie the score 44-44 at half-time.

Both captain Drew Sullivan and Joel Freeland hobbled off with hip and ankle injuries midway through the third as the home side struggled to withstand Serbia's pacy offence.

Impressive three pointers from Dan Clark and Devon van Oostrum, followed with baskets from Boateng, restored a slim GB lead, 70-66 with less than a minute to play.

GB closed out the third on top, and with 1:45 on the clock in the fourth tied the score at 93-93 through a Nate Reinking basket.

But Serbia's Milos Teodosic netted a basket with two seconds remaining to give the visitors the victory, in front of 1,328 fans.

Finch said: "I'm extremely frustrated. When you play against a world-class team such as Serbia who have been in that position many a time and know how to close out a game, you put yourself at risk when you don't take the opportunity to seal it."

Boateng led Britain with 15 points whilst Serbia's captain Nenad Kristic netted 21.

Britain had already lost to France and Croatia and go into Saturday's tie with China in search of their first win.

The game can be watched live on BBC Red Button from 1800 BST, excluding Freeview.

In the day's other games, France remain then only unbeaten team as they outplayed China 76-59, whilst Australia beat Croatia 78-66.

Follow Olympic sport reporter Jessica Creighton on Twitter for updates.

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