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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

GB shock Greece 78-69 in first World Cup qualifier .

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Great Britain’s men produced a stunning comeback to beat World number 10 side Greece 78-69 in their opening World Cup qualifier in Newcastle.

Teddy Okereafor celebrated his 50th cap with 19 points and Tarik Phillip added 16 as hosts rallied from 15 points.

GB, who last beat Greece in 1984, had trailed 48-33 after conceding the first 10 points of the second half.

They now travel to Istanbul to play on Sunday against Turkey, who were upset 80-74 by Belarus.

GB were missing their starting forward combination of Ovie Soko and Myles Hesson, both of whom play in Japan and would have faced a long quarantine period on their return.

Despite that, seven of their players scored as they tied the first quarter and led by five points at the start of the second before Greece scored off turnovers to lead 38-33 at half-time.

They opened the second half with a 10-0 run to take a commanding lead, but Ashley Hamilton and Luke Nelson began the GB revival. With the aid of four three-pointers from Okereafor, they seized the lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

When Philip and Nelson added further threes, GB led 69-60 and were leaving Greece behind on a 31-10 scoring streak.

Sunday’s game against Turkey will also be shown live on the BBC iPlayer.

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