Commonwealth Games: 'Togetherness' key as Scots stun England - Kieron Achara

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Commonwealth Games: Scotland beat England in men's basketball opener

Scotland basketball captain Kieron Achara says that togetherness in adversity helped his team beat England in their opening match at the Commonwealth Games.

The veteran forward was a key man in the 78-65 win in Townsville, more than 1400km from the heart of the action in the Gold Coast.

Scotland are in Group B of the eight-nation competition and will face Cameroon on Saturday and India on Sunday.

"The win wasn't a surprise to us, but it will be seen as a bit of a shock to others," said Achara. "We were definitely underdogs.

"Our new coach. Rob Beveridge (an Australian) had belief in us. We knew we needed to play a great defensive game and we did.

"We changed up our defence so many times we caused confusion to the English. To hold a team like to only 65 points is a credit to our defence. We were really together as a team.

"It was emotional afterwards. We were even singing The Proclaimers at one point.

"With us being in Townsville, there's definitely a disconnect from the rest of the Games because we're so far way, but Team Scotland have done a good job in getting a delegate to come and give us posters and flags to put up in our room just to make us feel part of it.

"We've been keeping in touch with everybody but it does feel very different here."

'Fighting for the survival of the sport at this level'

Achara said the team used a lack of funding for the sport in the UK as motivation to perform. Basketball struggles for financial support and the future existence of the Scotland and Great Britain teams is a regular talking point.

"As players, we've actually given up worrying about what's happening with funding because if you focus on it too much then it'll get you down," said the Glasgow Rocks skipper.

"We can only control the controllables. All we can do is go out there and show Scotland and the UK that the game of basketball is growing and that for all sorts of reasons it's worth getting behind. Hopefully one day somebody will see what we see. If the funding comes, it comes.

"It was part of our team talk before the game. We spoke about this being bigger than any of us. This is the whole basketball community we're fighting for.

"We're fighting for the survival of the sport at this level. We have some young kids in the squad and they're the future.

"We don't know if this is going to be the last we see of Scottish teams and British teams in competitions like this, so we have to live in the moment and show that we deserve some funding. Our goal now is to top the group and see how far we can go."

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