Great Britain Women proved that they can compete against one of the top teams in the world before bowing down to Czech Republic, 67-56, on Tuesday night in the first of their two-game series in Prague.
Great Britain trailed most of the way, but they managed to give their world’s fourth-ranked squad a huge scare in one of their toughest tests before they compete in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics next month.
Trailing by double digits for most of the time in the opening half, the Brits unleashed a huge 11-3 rally to pull within three points, 45-42, midway through the third period.
However, Czech Republic, the silver-medalist in the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship, answered with their own run, scoring nine unanswered points to take control of the game until the final buzzer sounded.
Despite the loss, British Basketball Performance Director Chris Spice saw a lot of positives from their squad, saying that the game could have been a different story if not for their poor performance in opening half.
“We competed really well with a world-class team, used our bench and everyone played some good minutes,” Spice said. “We gave a lot of good minutes to the youngsters and they held up very well against quality opposition.”
Jo Leedham led Great Britain once again with 13 points and six rebounds, while Rose Anderson added 10 points.
Great Britain will try to bounce back as they face off once again on Wednesday night in Prague.
“We’re looking forward to the game tomorrow,” said Great Britain guard Natalie Stafford. “We’ve realized we can hang with them and give them a run for their money.”