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Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 20:26 UK

GB given World Championships hope

GB's Pops Mensah-Bonsu is challenged by Serbia's Nemanja Bjelica

Great Britain could be given a wild card to play in the World Championships in Turkey next year, according to the head of basketball's governing body.

GB lost all three games they played in the recent European Championships and have managed just one win in 12 internationals over the summer.

Fiba president Bob Elphinston said: "They must show they are competitive week after week.

"So yes it is yet to be seen but they are in with a chance."

GB's status as Olympic hosts could also strengthen their chances of gaining of a wild card entry to the 2010 tournament.

They clearly still have to do the job, they have to get all their best players on the floor, which they have not managed to do yet

Fiba president Bob Elphinston

Without injured NBA star Luol Deng for the EuroBasket tournament in Poland, GB were placed in a group that included three of the eventual semi-finalists, and led eventual champions Spain at one point in their game.

And GB coach Chris Finch believes his team is "not a million miles away" in terms of being able to compete at the top European level.

"I compare it to becoming a better golfer - as you get closer to scratch it becomes more difficult to shave those last few strokes off your game," said Finch after GB lost to Serbia in their final group game at EuroBasket.

"It's about little things we have to do on and off the floor as professionals."

606: DEBATE

And Elphinston admitted he had some sympathy for GB.

"It has been hard to measure Britain's performance," said the Fiba chief. "Clearly as the results show they were in the toughest group of all.

"So that is tough. They clearly still have to do the job, they have to get all their best players on the floor, which they have not managed to do yet."

GB Basketball will on 5 October conduct a complete review into their summer season, with the absence of star players, commitment and motivation for the rest of the squad and Finch's position all likely to be discussed.



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see also
GB face Euro inquest
15 Sep 09 |  Basketball
Serbia defeat ends GB challenge
09 Sep 09 |  Basketball
Brave GB scare world champs Spain
08 Sep 09 |  Basketball
GB suffer loss in European opener
07 Sep 09 |  Basketball
Fiba boss targets GB improvement
04 Sep 06 |  Basketball


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