Team GB fell short against two very tough European sides in the second phase of the FIBA WC qualifiers, losing to both Belgium and Latvia.
The away loss to Belgium ended 72-57 with a strong performance from Team GB's Myles Hesson who recently won himself a Commonwealth Gold Medal along with Kayne Henry, Orlan Jackman and Jamell Anderson. Hesson finished with 17 points on 6-14 shooting from the field.
The team then came back home for the second of their phase 2 fixtures against a very talented Latvia team, equipped with NBA level talent in Kristaps Porzingis and David Bertans. This matchup was a much closer affair than the Belgium game, with Team GB giving themselves an opportunity to take the win in the 4th Quarter. Unfortunately, the Latvian side were just too much to handle and they took a narrow 87-80 victory.
"We were in the game in the 4th quarter which I think in any game is a very important thing, just to have a chance to win," said Luke Nelson following the loss. He continued saying, "We gotta make improvements every single day. We don't have time to sit around and mope about our loss cause we got games coming up."
💬”We gave ourselves the chance to win by playing as a team offensively and defensively throughout the game.”@LukeNelson95_6 reflects on last night’s epic encounter with Latvia and looks at the progress of the team as we prepare to head to @EuroBasket!#BritishBasketball pic.twitter.com/K77kDI79HZ— GB Basketball (@gbbasketball) August 29, 2022
Team GB will look ahead to Milan, as they prepare for the Eurobasket 2022. The losses from these qualifiers do not eliminate Team GB from World Cup contention. With a 1-5 record they currently sit at the bottom of Group I but with four games remaining and the top 3 out of 6 qualifying for the World Cup, it is still possible.