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Kapoulas' GB Under-20s pick up first win at European Championships

Great Britain Under-20s claimed their first win at the European Championships as they held their nerve to see off Russia for an impressive 64-57 victory on Saturday.

Andreas Kapoulas’ bounced back in style from an opening loss with a strong defensive display boosting their hopes of making it out of Group B.

Akwasi Yeboah starred with a 22-point haul including some vitally important plays in the fourth, while Carl Wheatle added nine points and 10 rebounds.

GB scored the first four points of the game including a putback dunk from Josh Steel before Russia ended a near four-minute drought with a 5-0 run. The two teams traded baskets for the conclusion of the first with GB down by one at 11-12.

Yeboah scored six early points to push GB ahead with a 9-0 run making it 26-18. Andre Arissol netted a triple to keep his side in control and they took a 31-26 advantage into the half-time break.

Russia quickly made their move with a 9-2 start to the third as they threatened to pull away. However, GB maintained their defensive intensity and were just a point behind at the end of the third as Amin Adamu beat the buzzer with a corner three.

The game remained tightly contested in the early stages of the fourth before Yeboah began to take over.

The Stony Brook forward netted a triple to tie the game at 50 and edged GB ahead before following suit with another triple soon after making it 57-52 with 4:10 left on the clock.

Russia were not going away and after RJ Eytle-Rock’s huge and-1 play, they answered with a three to make it 60-57 inside the final minute. Yeboah came up with another crucial basket with a defensive stop followed by a pair of free throws from Wheatle to seal the win.

Box score.

Image credit: Mansoor Ahmed