Great Britain gave a much-improved performance to push European powerhouses Serbia hard in their final FIBA 2023 World Cup Qualifier.
After losing to Belgium in Newcastle on Friday, Head Coach Marc Steutel’s men finished their campaign with a 101-83 defeat in Belgrade and a 1-9 record.
Mercurial young point guard talent Quinn Ellis led GB with 22 points and five rebounds (20 efficiency) while captain Carl Wheatle (16) and Amin Adamu (14) also made double-figure contributions.
GB showed their class and fighting spirit by edging the second quarter to go in 46-41 down at the half.
They levelled things up at 46 apiece in the third before the relentless Serbians, ranked sixth in the world, eased away later in the period and in the fourth.
GB shot a respectable 50% but Serbia were at 57% and 27 assists to GB’s 14 illustrated how hard Steutel’s men had to work for their points.
Aleksa Avramovic’s 20-point haul was the pick of the Serbian performances.
GB progressed to the second phase of World Cup qualifying for the first time in their history almost a year ago, and despite a tough run and going into the final games knowing qualification was out of reach, Steutel can be pleased with the emergence of a new generation, with the likes of Ellis, Adamu and big man Aaron Menzies, among others, proving their worth.
He said: “As the coach of a young, developing Great Britain team, I’m exceptionally proud of my team tonight and excited for what the future holds for us.”