The Great Britain women lost their first ever Olympic encounter 74-58 to Australia in a game that ended at 00:05 local time.
The players from both sides looked tired and were not too productive to members of the press, post-game.
Despite the enthusiasm oozing from the 8,554 inside the Olympic Basketball Arena, the result was never in doubt as Australia took advantage of continuous rushed possessions from the hosts. When urged on by the crowd, it was head down and attack the basket, no matter how many yellow vests are protecting the key.
“It was a lesson learned, they played well overall but they seemed to want to be heroes instead being a team at times,” and Australian journalist said.
This all came when Australia, masterminded by Seattle Storm star Lauren Jackson went on an 18-0 burst, effectively sealing the victory. Great Britain were held scoreless for over five minutes in that time and when Julie Page ended the drought, the Aussies were in firm control maintaining their double-digit lead throughout.
Despite it, Page, along with her GB team-mates were upbeat.
“I think we did a good job, they [Australia] came out and pressured us,” she said. “I don’t think emotions got the better of us but I think we should keep our composure more and using this experience and that we’ve had all summer too.”
Page was fouled out after a spirited performance of eight points and seven rebounds.
Leedham, who scored 11 points but shot 4/19 from the field echoed Page’s sentiments.
“We had a good first quarter, but the second wasn’t so great but it’s a lesson for us to learn. When we make mistakes, they punish us and that’s what they did,” Leedham admitted.
Great Britain play Canada on Monday with Leedham stating that GB will make improvements from Saturday.
“We’ll be ready, it’s the Olympics, you got to be ready,” Leedham said. “We want to make the fans of Great Britain proud, we want to improve on our weak points and grow in confidence each game.”