Basketball: Team GB coach Chris Finch knows his side must learn to win close games following narrow defeat to Spain
Friday 03 August 2012
Great Britain coach Chris Finch knows it is vitally important for his team to figure out a way to win close games as they are unlikely to blow out another side any time soon.
Finch's team finished as hard-luck losers yet again as they went down 79-78 to world number two Spain last night, outscoring the European champions 30-19 in the fourth quarter but falling just short.
It was their third tough loss of the Olympics, and their third tough loss against Spain over the last three years.
Britain have shown they can hang with the big teams, they just cannot yet find a way to beat them.
"Our team knows the score," Finch said. "We're not going to win games unless it's close at the end.
"They've got to keep putting themselves in that position, then make plays, make shots and get stops.
"We got stops, we played tough defence, but then we had a couple of turnovers. We didn't get a foul call when we needed a foul call.
"Those things are going to happen sometimes, but close games is what we have to be in. We're not going to out-talent anybody, we're not going to win by double-digits.
"It's the last big step for our programme but we have to keep putting ourselves in that position and stay mentally tough."
Britain battled foul trouble throughout the game, with both Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu forced to sit for long periods with four fouls.
But they found a way to stay in the game, and Deng returned in the fourth quarter to inspire the late charge.
Deng's three-pointer with seven seconds left cut the gap to one, but Britain did not get the foul call they sought before time ran out.
Deng finished with 26 points while Joel Freeland had 25.
The loss drops Britain to 0-3 in the group, and they now need to win both their remaining games against Australia and China in order to reach their goal of the quarter-finals.
"We showed a lot of heart in a game we wanted to win," said Freeland. "But we stuck together and we always put ourselves in position to win the games.
"We came back from the loss in the Russia game and played better against Brazil and we came back from a tough loss to Brazil and were better against Spain.
"We hope to continue that and next time it will be a win."
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile