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Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:18 UK

Wayward GB suffer third reverse

By Rob Dugdale
BBC Sport at the O2 Arena

Mike Lenzly
Mike Lenzly top scored for Great Britain with 16 points

Great Britain lost their final match of the Game On tournament at the O2 Arena, beaten 79-69 by Israel in a game they trailed virtually throughout.

Mike Lenzly, who has returned to the side this season, scored 16 points while Joel Freeland added 14.

GB's shooting let them down and Israel punished them on the break, with Yotam Halperin amassing 27 points to lead their scorers.

British coach Chris Finch said: "We're a better team than when we came here."

But a third defeat means GB finish bottom of the tournament.

GB again rested captain Andrew Sullivan and starting point guard Flinder Boyd, who have been suffering with niggling abdominal and ankle injuries respectively.

It was only in the second half that Israel, whose shooting was good throughout, escaped to a double-digit lead.

Gal Merkel hit three three-pointers in the third quarter, after a Lenzly three reduced the arrears to 60-58.

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Lenzly and Nate Reinking hit threes in the fourth quarter after Israel had established a 75-61 lead, but GB could find no way back in only their third game of the summer.

Turkey beat Poland 66-58 in the other final-day game to take the tournament, with Israel finishing second.

GB's defeat came after reverses to Poland and Turkey as the team continue their preparations for next month's European Championships.

Finch now takes his team to Seville for their next series of warm-up games, which include meetings with two teams they will face in Poland in September, Slovenia and world champions Spain.

He added: "We can see where we stand now after playing three games. There's a little bit of a mix. We made a big step from Friday night to Saturday night and a little bit of a step backwards tonight, but that's to be expected from a young team.

"We saw it coming; they were a little flat tonight. We tried to warn them against it but there's no excuse. It's been a long couple of weeks but now we have a body of work we can assess and that's what this weekend was all about."



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see also
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In-depth interview - Luol Deng
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British basketball back at The O2
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Gordon missing from Britain squad
12 Aug 08 |  Basketball


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