Deng explodes as GB plan Lithuania

Standard Life Great Britain have qualified for their second straight EuroBasket event – after seeing off the challenge of Bosnia &Herzegovina 94-85, after a period of overtime in Liverpool.

Luol Deng hit 38 points in victory – his highest tally ever for Great Britain. Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a walking double-double in these qualifiers, did the job again, with an impressive 32 points and 21 rebounds, as the Brits only conceded four points in the extra five minutes of play.

In a tense fourth quarter, the visitors were up 81-79, when Mensah-Bonsu was fouled, and had the chance to tie the game with 18 seconds left in regulation. He kept his nerve, and dispatched both foul shots. Bosnia’s

Great Britain took over, and successive dunks from Deng and Mensah-Bonsu towards the end sent the home fans into a frenzy.

“One of our goals this summer on the first day of training camp was to prove ourselves all over again,” GB coach, Chris Finch admitted. “We wanted to prove that two years ago wasn’t a fluke.”

Detroit Pistons star, Ben Gordon, who committed himself to the Great Britain team in early-May was in attendance tonight – and was introduced to the Liverpool crowd to a great ovation.

“When I came back two summers ago, I found a half of my family I hadn’t seen since I was about nine,” stated Gordon.

“It was good to see them. That’s another reason I enjoy coming here is to reconnect with my family here and my fans here.”

After a tied first ten minutes at 15-all, where the lead changed 12 times. Great Britain broke free in the second quarter with their free-throw shooting, something that has been suspect throughout the qualifying campaign. Deng, Mensah-Bonsu and Ogo Adegboye all successful from the line, as GB had a 37-29 lead. The visitors came back, and the half closed on a Luol Deng technical – with Kenan Bajramovic taking full advantage. GB up 39-36 at the break.

The hosts kept their noses in-front, as Deng and new Mersey Tigers recruit, Andrew Sullivan scored to give GB a 61-55 lead. Outstanding defence from the Brits preserved their lead going into the final ten minutes (64-57)

Bosnia & Herzegovina would not go away, and a Henry Domercant led 10-3 run made sure the game would end on a knife-edge

Luol Deng hit 38 points in victory – his highest tally ever for Great Britain. Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a walking double-double in these qualifiers, did the job again, with an impressive 32 points and 21 rebounds, as the Brits only conceded four points in the extra five minutes of play.

In a tense fourth quarter, the visitors were up 81-79, when Mensah-Bonsu was fouled, and had the chance to tie the game with 18 seconds left in regulation. He kept his nerve, and dispatched both foul shots. Bosnia’s Milan Milosovic had the chance to break the hearts of the 2,700 fans inside Liverpool’s Echo Arena – but, his last-second off-balance shot missed and sent the game into overtime.

Great Britain took over, and successive dunks from Deng and Mensah-Bonsu towards the end sent the home fans into a frenzy.

“One of our goals this summer on the first day of training camp was to prove ourselves all over again,” GB coach, Chris Finch admitted. “We wanted to prove that two years ago wasn’t a fluke.”

Detroit Pistons star, Ben Gordon, who committed himself to the Great Britain team in early-May was in attendance tonight – and was introduced to the Liverpool crowd to a great ovation.

“When I came back two summers ago, I found a half of my family I hadn’t seen since I was about nine,” stated Gordon.

“It was good to see them. That’s another reason I enjoy coming here is to reconnect with my family here and my fans here.”

After a tied first ten minutes at 15-all, where the lead changed 12 times. Great Britain broke free in the second quarter with their free-throw shooting, something that has been suspect throughout the qualifying campaign. Deng, Mensah-Bonsu and Ogo Adegboye all successful from the line, as GB had a 37-29 lead. The visitors came back, and the half closed on a Luol Deng technical – with Kenan Bajramovic taking full advantage. GB up 39-36 at the break.

The hosts kept their noses in-front, as Deng and new Mersey Tigers recruit, Andrew Sullivan scored to give GB a 61-55 lead. Outstanding defence from the Brits preserved their lead going into the final ten minutes (64-57)

Bosnia & Herzegovina would not go away, and a Henry Domercant led 10-3 run made sure the game would end on a knife-edge.

John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net

Advertisement