GB Men made it three wins out of three today (Monday 7th July) after they defeated Mexico by 20 points, 74 -54 in their final game of the first pool stage of the World Championships.
In what was an inconsistent performance from GB, they ensured they did enough to put themselves through to the second pool stage in top spot of Pool A.
GB’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania, started the game with the same line-up as he had in the previous win against South Korea. This proved effective drawing GB out to an early 16 -8 lead over the Mexican’s. He rotated his bench in towards the end of the quarter and they maintained the eight point margin 18 -10.
The start of the second quarter saw Mexico come back at GB with some vengeance, and with GB’s shots not dropping, they brought it back to just a one point game, 22 -21. The line-up of Brown, Orogbemi, Choudhry, Sagar, and Marsh then exerted extensive defensive pressure on the Mexicans forcing a couple of turnovers, allowing GB to regain control and extend their lead to 10points at half time.
After the break it was back to the starting line-up, and a 7-0 unanswered run for GB opened up a comfortable lead 47-30. Coach Bhania then went to his 3-big line-up, and they continued the scoring, going in to the last quarter 57-39 up.
The game got a bit frantic in the final period, which proved to be to the advantage of Mexico as they matched GB’s scoring. GB were always in control though, winning the quarter by 2points, and were able to use all twelve players during the 40 minutes for the third successive game. GB finished comfortable winners, 74-54.
GB Men’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania, said: “It was a scrappy game today and we weren’t up to our best form, but we still scored 74 points which showed they still had commitment there. There were areas where we could have been smarter in the things we did.
“We have got Iran who we hadn’t accounted for as we thought they weren’t going to make it, they got a good result today against the Japanese. They have a good unit and they are a good outfit, they will be committed and will want a result of the game so we will have to be pretty good and go in with a comprehensive game plan.
“We will work on it tonight and be ready for it tomorrow”
GB’s Ian Sagar said, “We are now three from three going into the second group stage and it’s going to get harder and we know we have more in us. Fingers crossed we can carry on this momentum and keep on winning.
“It’s a team effort and I’m sure at points it’s very beautiful basketball and from the sidelines it looks very very good, we just now have to make it count.
“We know Iran from Beijing and they were a strong team out there. Yesterday they beat Japan who we are familiar with, and Japan have run us close in some of our warm-up games. I’m sure they will come out fighting but that’s what we expect. At this stage of the competition there are no easy games.”
GB’s Kyle Marsh said, “It was a good positive game for the team, we didn’t play very well in the first half but we came out and showed what we could do in the second which is a big positive for us and we need that going forwards.”
Great Britain move through to the next pool stage and face Iran, Japan and Spain to ensure a spot in the quarter-finals. Their next game will be against Iran at 4.15am (BST) on Tuesday 8th July 2014.