Standard Life Great Britain secured a vital victory on the road, as they came from behind to edge Bosnia-Herzegovina, 84-80 in a nail-biting encounter in Sarajevo
Dan Clark, who merely warmed the bench for Chris Finch’s side at EuroBasket last year, has proved how far he has come as a player, by leading the Brits with 23 points – while veteran, Nate Reinking netted 21 points, as Great Britain remain undefeated in Group B – and now top the group.
Bosnia and Herzegovina will feel like this was the one that got away, as they led for most stages of the game. But had ran out of luck down the stretch. Ratko Varda led the Bosnians in vain with 20 points, while Kenan Bajramovic had 16 and Henry Domercant posted 14.
“This was a big win for us, we didn’t play as well but we managed to grind out a result. Bosnia did a good job on Luol and Pops and guys like Dan, Nate and Flinder really stepped up.” Chris Finch commented after the game.
With the home crowd in Sarajevo behind them, Bosnia took the game to Team GB early – and stormed to an 18-9 lead mid-way through the first, on the back of a 12-2 run – forcing Finch to call a timeout. It seemed to have a good effect as the visitors came back and tied the contest at 24 after one.
Bosnia and Herzegovina then briefly took control of what was an ugly battle, through Domercant and Varda, as Chris Finch was called for a technical foul nearing the end of the half, giving the hosts a chance to extend their lead, which they did as the Bosnians went in 48-41 up at the half.
The third saw Luol Deng and Flinder Boyd put the visitors 60-59 in front, causing the hosts to call a timeout – and Bosnia and Herzegovina tied the ball game, going into the final stanza.
There, it was nip-and-tuck all the way with leads changing hands, but a Great Britain surge looked to have killed the game off, as the visitors were leading by six [82-76] with 18 seconds left. Deng and Nate Reinking made sure from the line as the Brits held on for victory.
Clark was pleased that his team came up with the goods when it mattered – saying: “This was a tough game. Bosnia were coming off of a loss on the road and they played well in the first half. We played tough down the stretch.”
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net