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Group:  D | 10.09.2008, 19:30h
Group:  D | 10.09.2008, 19:30h
82-74
20 - 1821 - 2325 - 1116 - 22
20 - 1821 - 2325 - 1116 - 22
Venue: Birmingham (ENG) |
Spectators: 2525 |
Referees: Juan Mitjana (ESP), Carlos Mateus (FRA), Tomasz Trawicki (POL)

GAME REPORT


Dazzling Deng Spells Doom For Bosnia

Luol Deng erupted for 29 points and Nate Reinking hit key baskets in a third-quarter surge that propelled Great Britain to an 82-74 EuroBasket qualifying Group D triumph over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Deng, the Chicago Bulls star who averaged 24.5 points per game in Britain's promotion-winning campaign last year, is pouring in 26.7 per contest this summer in Division A.

With their second straight win, Britain have improved to 2-1 and now top Group D with the Czechs (2-1) - the team they hammered at the weekend in London.

Bosnia and Israel, who lost to the Czechs on Wednesday, are now 1-2.

The Bosnians are always tough opponents and they had upset on their minds at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.

The teams were tied at 41-41 at half-time, but after the excellent Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Goran Ikonic exchanged baskets to start the third, the Brits took over by scoring 15 consecutive points.

Deng and Reinking hit back-to-back three-pointers.

Reinking followed with another jumper and then Deng drilled a three to make it 54-43.

When Flinder Boyd went in for a lay-up with 5:28 to play in the third quarter, Britain had a 58-43 advantage.

An 8-0 spurt capped by a Nemanja Gordic bucket at the start of the fourth brought Bosnia back into the game at 66-60, but Britain got the ball back into Deng's hands and he scored on a lay-up for a 68-60 lead.

Gordic answered with another basket, only for Andrew Sullivan to soar in and score with a tap-in to put Britain in front at 70-62.

Britain went back on top by 15 before settling for an eight-point triumph.

Mensah-Bonsu had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Britain.

Kenan Bajramovic had 15 points and eight rebounds for Bosnia, who slumped to 1-2 with this defeat.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Great Britain vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chris Finch, Great Britain coach:

"These games have been very close and I think we came out a little tentative today. We kept pressing the guys to make the next play. Defensively we were okay but not great.  Once we felt it went up in the first half I felt we could have stepped it up. We are in a nice position (in the group) after a couple of home games but still I know from experience there will be a lot of twists in the tale."

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Great Britain player:

"We were a little tentative in defense and made some offense but then we would let them score. The third quarter was the most important time for us, we felt if we came out with intensity and called the game by getting a few easy baskets and take control of the game we would be able to win. We would have liked to finish the game a bit better."

Mensur Bajramovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach:

"It was a very difficult game. We met them in Turkey but it was a different situation then as now they are playing superstar Luol Deng who has taken the level of the GB team to maybe the best team in the group. We had a problem with our defense. In our group everyone wins at home. I expected the group to be this close."

Ernest Jr Bremer, Bosnia and Herzegovina player:

"They played hard. We played them point for point in the first half and in the second kept being aggressive. Those five or six minutes in the third made the difference. They downed some and increased the shots and that changed the game right there but we couldn't afford to have a let down at any point in the game."

Accumulated statistics

52.4%

33/63
FG
M/A

47.6%

30/63

55.6%

25/45
FG2P
M/A

54.1%

20/37

44.4%

8/18
FG3P
M/A

38.5%

10/26

61.5%

8/13
FT
M/A

44.4%

4/9

34

9/25
RT
RO/RD

32

10/22

14

AS

17

15

TO

16

4

ST

4

3

BS

2

19

PF

22

82

Pts

74

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