Referees: Daniel Hierrezuelo (ESP), Eddie Viator (FRA), Oliver Krause (GER)
Britain Top Israel And Group D
Great Britain shot to the top of Group D in EuroBasket qualifying on Saturday evening with a 96-86 win over Israel in Liverpool.
Chris Finch's team has now won three games in a row since falling to a 102-92 defeat in Tel Aviv in the opening qualifying clash for both sides on September 3.
In that first meeting, Britain led 85-83 when their naturalized guard Nate Reinking fouled Meir Tapiro with less than a second remaining.
Tapiro tied the game at the free throw line and Israel pulled away in the extra period for a 10-point win.
In the rematch back in England, Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Brits - another solid showing for the big man who this summer signed for Spanish powerhouses DKV Joventut.
The center also had a great game on defense, blocking three shots and coming up with two of Britain's 10 steals.
Britain led by 23 points in the final minute of the third quarter and were still up by 19 with 4:21 remaining.
Israel pulled to within eight at 92-84 with 1:07 remaining before falling by 10.
Had Britain won by more than 10, they would have had the advantage in the goal differential tie-breaker should that come into play at the end of qualifying.
As it is, they will still like their strong position with a 3-1 record heading into games against the Czech Republic on Wednesday and Saturday at Bosnia.
Four other players finished in double figures for Britain, including 20 for Luol Deng.
Lior Eliyahu had 24 points for Israel.
Quotes Great Britain vs. Israel
Zvi Sherf, Israel coach:
"The key difference was the number of free throw shots we were getting and the other team was getting. Mensah-Bonsu was unstoppable under the basket and Deng made the same number of points like he makes in every game but the early foul problems we were having and the free throw shots we didn't get was about a ten point difference. We improved a little bit in the third and fourth quarter we brought a different squad to the court but it wasn't enough to get the points. We will continue to fight in this pool. I think the GB team is a very good team who can win in Bosnia and the Czech Republic."
Chris Finch, Great Britain coach:
"I felt we were slow at the start and the finish but also played some special basketball. I know the guys were up for this game. We had some important contributions from the bench from guys like Jarrett Hart and Richard Midgley and now we have to keep going. In Tel Aviv we let them (Israel) run their offense. They have a great system that we let them run. We made a point of trying to stop Tapiro and Eliyahu; Eliyahu hurt us a bit but no-one else really stepped up and on our one-on-one basketball we got a lot of points back."
Nick George, Great Britain player:
"I had a lot of fun out there tonight. All these games have been a lot of fun. I think we brought a lot of energy to the game although we didn't start off too great. Our defense was key tonight although we're still struggling to close out our games. We've got to get back in the gym and stay focused."