Great Britain stumbled to an opening defeat at EuroBasket as Ukraine ran out 90-61 winners at Milan’s Mediolanum Forum.
The first fixture for both teams at EuroBasket 2022, Ukraine started this encounter the quicker of the two teams and led 22-11 after six minutes, before GB responded to cut the gap to five by the end of the quarter.
The two sides traded buckets in the second as GB looked to draw the game level, but the Ukrainians were relentless in their intensity and extended the gap to 10 by the half.
GB had twice the amount of turnovers on the night (20 compared to Ukraine’s nine) and the side led by Sacramento Kings centre Alex Len were able to capitalise in the third quarter as they built up a 22-point lead and left Nate Reinking’s side with a mountain to climb.
Luke Nelson was a bright spot for GB throughout the fixture as he contributed 16 points to lead the team in scoring and added five assists for good measure, but the team’s struggles from the floor were significant as they shot just 33% from the field compared to Ukraine’s 45%, and points in the paint – dominated by Len – were hard to come by as well as Ukraine notched 38 to GB’s 20.
Reinking’s side have a chance to bounce back immediately with a much improved performance as they get set to take on Croatia on Saturday morning at 1:15pm BST. Use code ‘EUROGB25’ to save 25% on an Annual Pass to www.courtside1891.basketball, where you can watch all of Great Britain’s games at EuroBasket live.