Great Britain 96-79 Macedonia: GB boost Eurobasket qualifying hopes

Eric Boateng playing at London 2012
Boateng played for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics

Great Britain beat Macedonia 96-79 at the Copper Box in London to boost their chances of qualifying for next summer's Eurobasket finals.

Eric Boateng top-scored with 18 points for GB, while Ben Gordon notched 17 and Andrew Lawrence added 16.

GB led by just nine points after three quarters but had greater momentum and won comfortably against the top seeds in Group F.

GB's next game is on Wednesday against Luxembourg, also in London.

Coach Joe Prunty said: "We had 21 assists on 30 field goals so guys were doing multiple things on the floor and that's what we need to win games.

"Ben [Gordon] played very well - he played 30 minutes but he's getting more comfortable - nine rebounds and five assists was a very good game for him."

Eurobasket Group G
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Macedonia edged a high-scoring first quarter 30-28 but Gordon's nine points and three assists, signalled his contribution was going to be greater than in the opening qualifying defeat by Hungary three days earlier.

GB went on to lead 50-43 at half-time as the visitors struggled with foul trouble and the loss of guard Damjan Stojanovski with a knee injury.

Three-point baskets from Gordon and Kieron Achara put GB into a 12-point lead towards the end of the third quarter and when the pair repeated that, with another from Dan Clark, GB led 83-66.

Victory was secured with two Boateng baskets that saw him record his highest score for his country.

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