Great Britain 72 Germany 77: Basketball side edged out despite brave comeback
01:13 GMT, 31 August 2012
Great Britain brought the wheelchair basketball tournament to life as they came from 18 points down to force overtime against Germany, but they could not pull off the victory they so desperately wanted to open their Paralympic campaign.
Britain trailed 34-16 midway through the second quarter, but came storming back and took the lead after half-time.
The hosts could never get much breathing space and it became a frantic contest as the clock ticked down, with Terry /08/31/article-0-14C2B662000005DC-647_634x367.jpg” width=”634″ height=”367″ alt=”So close: Great Britain celebrate but were later denied by the Germans” class=”blkBorder” />
So close: Great Britain celebrate but were later denied by the Germans
'It was a tough game, but we fought hard and we showed a big spirit,' said co-captain Abdi Jama, who had 10 points.
'It was the bulldog spirit. We drove and drove and drove. We had the last shot of the game and on another day that goes in.'
Germany dominated the early going as Britain had no response to the big three-pointers from Andre Bienek.
When Jan Haller joined the party they moved into a 17-8 lead, with needless turnovers from Britain helping Germany get away.
Another three from Haller made it 30-14 as part of a 7-0 spurt, and it was Haller again to make it 34-16.
Britain made defensive adjustments and began to claw their way back, with /08/31/article-0-14C2B476000005DC-270_634x415.jpg” width=”634″ height=”415″ alt=”Crash: Abdi Jama of Great Britain falls to the floor during the match with Germany” class=”blkBorder” />
Crash: Abdi Jama of Great Britain falls to the floor during the match with Germany
/08/31/article-0-14C246D0000005DC-690_634x466.jpg” width=”634″ height=”466″ alt=”Battle: Germany's Andre Bienek (left) tussles with Great Britain's Joni Pollock ” class=”blkBorder” />
Battle: Germany's Andre Bienek (left) tussles with Great Britain's Joni Pollock
Wolk quickly gave Germany a four-point edge and with Bienek finding his rhythm again and Britain guilty of ill-timed turnovers, they pulled away.
'We made too many errors and silly mistakes,' said Britain coach Murray Treseder. 'They had 15 offensive rebounds and we committed 13 turnovers, and that's too much possession to give away.
'Poor decisions caught up with us. But we played some pretty good basketball at times and that's a positive.'
Jama said the crowd, listed at 5,342, was the best he had ever played in as the British rally was roared on.
'The crowd were fantastic, it was an unbelievable atmosphere and to play in front of a crowd like that is an honour,' he said.
'We did a lot of good things and it could have gone either way. Credit to the Germans. We just need to put the ball in the hole. It's as simple as that.'