Standard Life Great Britain almost led slip a double-digit against Hungary at Birmingham’s N.I.A. – but, held on for a nervous 66-64 win, to stay unbeaten in Group B.
Nate Reinking led the Great Britain push with 17 points personal, Peter Lorant, equalled Reinking’s feat, in an unforunate loss for the visitors.
In a tense fourth quarter, Hungary came back strong, hitting 13 un-answered points, when Hanga tied the game at 64 with a three-pointer. Luol Deng then came up with a game-saving block on Hanga, as the hosts held on for the win.
“It was a lucky win.” Finch said, following the win. Continuing: “The clock ran out just in time for us today.” Clearly disappointed in his side’s performance. Despite the win, and going 5-0 in the process, Finch is not thinking about Lithuania next year.
“No, I’m not thinking about anything, look at that game. How are we ready?” Finch stated.
Great Britain started with buckets early on by Luol Deng and Nate Reinking – and their good start continued, as they raced to a 15-4 lead off back-to-back three’s from Reinking, as he led with nine early points. The hosts continued their form, to lead 19-11 at the end of the first.
Chris Finch’s team extended their lead further in the second, as captain, Andrew Sullivan scored off his own miss mid-way through – as the Brits enjoyed a 14-point lead at 30-16. The Hungarians kept competing, as Akos Keller, finished off an alley-oop play. But GB were finding it comfortable, in front of a passionate home crowd (37-22).
Hungary started a revival in the third, with a 7-0 run, to trail by five (46-41). Two Deng scores though restored Great Britain’s double-digit lead. A final three minutes of bucket-trading gave the hosts a 58-47 lead going into, what was a nervous final stanza.
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net – in Birmingham