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Gabriel Olaseni

Gabriel Olaseni

Great Britain rekindled their EuroBasket qualifying hopes by beating Montenegro 74-59 in Pau, France. Center Gabriel Olaseni (211-C-91, college: Iowa) led the team with 26 points – their country’s highest record – while Myles Hesson (198-F-90) and Luke Nelson (191-G-95, college: UC Irvine) added 15 and 13 points respectively. After trailing early, GB led the rest of the game, shooting and rebounding well. The margin of victory gives Great Britain the head-to-head record against Montenegro. After losing heavily, 79-56 to host France on Friday, coach Marc Steutel ‘s team responded with energy and character, posting a confident 16-2 run in the first quarter and keeping their opponents at bay in a second. quarter-time little marked. Importantly, they then kept Montenegro scoreless for almost six minutes after halftime to take a 13-point lead that increased to 17 points in the fourth quarter as GB rolled towards victory. Montenegro captain Nemanja Djurisic (203-PF-92, college: Georgia) later admitted that ‘GB handled everything – and we had problems matching their efforts’. ‘Gabe set the defensive tone for our group tonight,’ Steutel said afterward. ‘Friday night was tough, but I always believed we could put together a performance on the defensive end and we did it today. ‘ ‘It feels good – but all I do is shoot layups, really,’ said Gabriel Olaseni. ‘The guys do a great job of opening up to me. When I have a game like this it just means we are moving the ball well. ‘ The victory means GB only need to match Montenegro’s results in the last two games to qualify. As it stands, those matches are on the road in Germany and France, but as the next qualifying window opens in February, pandemic restrictions could still have an influence on the outcome.
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