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Great Britain had a chance, but Austria advance from Group D
SCHWECHAT (Austria) - Team GB needed a 14-point win, and it seemed like they would have the last push with a 7-point lead in the last minute. Instead, Austria closed out the game stronger to win the group and advance to the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers, despite losing the last game 78-75.
Turning Point: Myles Hesson's layup made it a 78-71 game from the British point of view with a minute left to play. The team decided to gamble and deploy a full-court press, but a baseball pass from Sylven Landesberg landed in Thomas Klepeisz's hands - he was the only man over the halfway line, and his layup putout the fire in Great Britain, as it was evident they would not catch the 14-point margin needed.
Stats Don't Lie: Great Britain missed 7 of their 25 free throw attempts. Even though 72 percent is not bad for a game, it is for a game in which you are climbing a 14-point tall mountain.
Game Hero: Sylven Landesberg did not need to go for 47 points this time around. He finished with 26 on 17-of-20 from the free throw line, dished out 7 assists and grabbed 6 boards to lead Austria to another win. Without him, Austria would've been in a lot of trouble trying to preserve their lead from the first rendezvous.
Game Notes: Austria will move to the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers as group winners, but this defeat ends their unbeaten run in the Pre-Qualifiers. Great Britain get another chance this summer, as they will play in the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Pre-Qualifiers Third Round in August.
They Said: "It was a though game, we had a great team effort, we secured the first place. That was our goal and we are really happy and now we are off to the next step." - Thomas Schreiner, Austria
"It was an unbelievable fight from our team. The best loss in Austrian history, I would say. We are all happy. Just congratulations to our team for the effort and the fight they put out there." - Michael Coffin, Austria head coach
"I think we played two different games in the two halves. One we wouldn't fight with intensity for wide phases of it, and in the second, we were much better, we controlled the game and in defense." - Alberto Lorenzo, Great Britain head coach
"They came out strong, they made their shots in the beginning. We found our rhythm in the second half, we dig ourselves a big gap in the first half, like at home. We can be happy about the performance today. They are a though team." - Myles Hesson, Great Britain