Eurobasket: Great Britain men secure qualification for finals

By Rob DugdaleBBC Sport in Luxembourg
Joe Prunty
Joe Prunty's team qualify for Eurobasket 2017 after missing out on the finals two years ago

Great Britain men's basketball team secured qualification for next year's Eurobasket finals despite losing their final Group G match on Saturday.

They qualify by virtue of being one of four second-placed teams with the best records, after three wins in six games.

The calculation across seven groups went in their favour when Germany won 82-51 away to the Netherlands.

Andrew Lawrence led GB's scoring with 16 points as their final qualifier ended in an 82-75 loss in Luxembourg.

Gabe Olaseni and Kyle Johnson added 14 points each as GB slipped to defeat despite leading 45-37 at half-time.

Joe Prunty's team produced a second half full of errors and trailed 77-65 with three minutes remaining.

They rallied to draw close at 78-75, but their hosts pulled away in the final minute.

GB nevertheless progress to next year's 24-team finals, which are being co-hosted by Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey.

Great Britain captain Kieron Achara, who also played at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "After 2012 lots of people were saying we're missing this guy and we're missing that guy, but we've found a way.

"For such inexperienced guys to get a chance to play the Eurobasket next year means a lot to us.

"We know we've got a lot to work on but we'll do it together. Our basketball means a lot to us in the UK and we're not going to give up. Hopefully, UK Sport and the other government bodies can see that we're worth investing in."

Head coach Prunty said that while the defeat by Luxembourg was disappointing, his team had achieved their overall goal of qualifying for the finals.

"This was a hard game, because you've done everything that you can in terms of trying to qualify and now it depends on other results," he said.

"It's a tremendous accomplishment. We have a very good team and the one thing we have to realise is that every single time you step on the floor, you're being evaluated and you have to prove yourself."

Eurobasket Group G
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