Great Britain failed to ride on the momentum from their opening day victory as they ran into a brick wall in the second day of the EuroBasket Men 2013 in Slovenia.
Powerhouse France cruised to an impressive 88-65 victory over Great Britain in the second day of Group A action of this year’s European Championship, the qualifying tournament for next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
France did not give Great Britain a chance to get into their rhythm as they quickly jumped into a 15-3 lead in the first five minutes of the match to control the tempo for the rest of the way.
Great Britain had a better second quarter in which they outscored the French squad, 23-19, but France dominated once again in the third period, leaving no room for a possible comeback for the British side.
Nicolas Batum, one of the handfuls of players with NBA experience in the French squad, led the team in scoring with 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting, while Tony Parker added 16 points to go along with five assists and two steals.
Nando De Colo and Mickael Gelabale posted 11 points apiece, while lanky big man Alexis Ajinca had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds for France, which shot an impressive 56.1 percent from the field.
Despite losing in their second game of the tournament, Great Britain head coach Joe Prunty, whose team escaped with a 75-71 OT win over Israel in day one, remains upbeat, saying that their team could learn a lot from their loss.
“France deserves a lot of credit for the things they did. The first and third quarters were pretty big keys and really set the tone. We did match that level of intensity that we needed to and the game became very free flowing. That really benefitted them,” Prunty said after the game.
Veteran center Dan Clark led Great Britain with 16 points in 18 minutes, while Devon Van Oostrum provided a huge lift with his 13 points to go along with three dimes.