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Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 22:27 UK

George sparks GB win over Israel

By Rob Dugdale
BBC Sport at the Echo Arena, Liverpool

Nick George ((picture courtesy of Mansoor Ahmed)
Bench player George scored 15 points

Great Britain stayed top of EuroBasket qualifying Group B with a convincing 96-86 win over Israel in Liverpool.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu led the scoring with 22 points while Luol Deng added 20.

GB took command in the second and third quarters, building a 20-point lead thanks to influential bench player Nick George, who scored 15 points.

The result means GB probably need only a single win from their remaining two games to book a place in next year's European finals in Poland.

Those two games come in the Czech Republic on Wednesday and in Bosnia on Saturday.

"We've held serve and now we have two chances to get one on the road," said GB coach Chris Finch.

"I was always happy with our schedule - a tough one on the road, three home games to build some momentum and some chemistry and now go on the road and see how good we really are."

George added: "One of the most important things about tonight was the energy we brought. The coach said the last game we didn't come off the bench with any enthusiasm.

"Jarret (Hart) came in and kicked it off tonight, I came in and Richard Midgley came in and I think everybody enjoyed it. That was the most important thing."

We've held serve and now we have two chances to get one on the road

GB coach Chris Finch
Israel had beaten GB in overtime 10 days ago in Tel-Aviv, but that was never likely to happen again once the hosts posted their first 20-point lead on a pair of George dunks off excellent floated passes from Deng.

"He's an inspiration to everybody and you just want to follow that," George said of Deng. "And Pops is an animal, just a beastly individual. He just fights for everything."

Joel Freeland, another bench player, underlined his burgeoning talent with 13 points and four rebounds.

"Joel was fantastic - he's a great young talent and he's going to be special," said George.

Finch added: "We had great production from the bench, Nick and Joel were pretty inspirational. Joel's given us great energy off the bench all campaign."

see also
Great Britain too good for Bosnia
10 Sep 08 |  Basketball
GB overcome Czechs for first win
06 Sep 08 |  Basketball
GB slip to Euro qualifying defeat
03 Sep 08 |  Basketball
Birmingham to host GB basketball
22 May 08 |  Basketball
Basketball results
12 Oct 00 |  Basketball

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