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Kapoulas Rounds Off Preparation Tournament With GB U20s

Andreas Kapoulas and Great Britain Under-20s recorded two wins and one defeat in their pre-European Championships tournament in Portugal.

The team held a training camp at the University of Essex in Colchester last week, where the squad was reduced from 20 players down to 16.

GB faced three games in two days during the weekend, which saw them pick up wins against Belarus and hosts Portugal, whilst going down to Division A side Sweden with an improbable full-court buzzer-beater.

Saturday, July 2nd 2016 - Belarus 63-86 Great Britain

GB opened the tournament with an 86-63 victory over Belarus, with Jules Dang Akodo leading the way with 14 points and five assists.

Three other players also reached double figures with Josh Steel adding 12 points, Pharroh Gordon scoring 11 and Kyle Carey contributing with ten.

Kapoulas’ side made a fast start with the opening 13 points of the game in Anadia with Gordon scoring six points early on. GB’s lead was reduced narrowly, but they were still in control with a 24-13 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

Belarus cut the gap back into single figures, but were never within less than eight points as GB maintained their strong start. Dang Akodo was the first player into double figures and was joined by Steel after his three-pointer on the buzzer handed his side a 45-34 lead at the half-time break.

Heading into the final quarter, GB had a commanding 64-46 advantage and Kingsley Nwagboso quickly scored his first points of the night, courtesy of a fifth assist from Dang Akodo. 

All 12 players registered points on the scoresheet as GB went on a 12-4 run to compete a convincing 86-63 success and get their preparation schedule off to a winning start.

Box Score: http://live.fibaeurope.com/www/Game.aspx?acc=3011&gameID=96621&lng=en

Sunday, July 3rd - Sweden 51-48 Great Britain

Great Britain were defeated 51-48 by Sweden in the first of two games on Sunday after going down to a full-court buzzer-beater.

A slow start saw just three points scored in the first five minutes of the game. Dang Akodo levelled at 4-4 with the game’s first three-pointer, but Sweden went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter 13-6 ahead.

The deficit grew into double figures early in the second with GB shooting three-of-19 from the field before Gordon netted six points in quick succession to force Sweden into a time-out only to miss out on a four-point play moments later.

GB were 14 points behind in the early stages of the third, but went on a 13-0 run to close to within a single point with Carey and Steel both netting from downtown in a positive five-minute spell.

Kapoulas’ side refused to give in and managed to put together seven straight points to tie the game at 46 with just under a minute remaining.

But there was to be one final twist as Sweden’s Sheriff Drammeh threw up a successful full-court heave to snatch victory and cause heartbreak for the GB bench.

Box Score: http://live.fibaeurope.com/www/Game.aspx?acc=3011&gameID=96622&lng=en

Sunday, July 3rd - Portugal 47-59 Great Britain

Great Britain rounded out the tournament with a 59-47 victory against hosts Portugal.

Dang Akodo was the leading scorer for the third game in a row after netting 17 points, whilst Bristol Flyers and SGS academy product Deane Williams had a near double-double of nine points and 11 rebounds.

Carey opened the game with five of GB’s first seven points as they made a positive start before Portugal gained control with a 13-3 run to open up a 17-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The deficit peaked at eight points at the start of the second, but GB recovered and two mini-bursts of six straight points helped them firstly close the gap before taking the lead to go into half-time, 29-25 ahead.

Dang Akodo scored five points in quick succession when play resumed after the break and a 9-0 run handed GB a commanding 12-point lead at 43-31 six minutes into the third. Steel netted his second triple of the period to make it 47-33 heading into the final quarter as the visitors continued to frustrate their opponents at both ends of the floor.

Portugal opened with an 8-2 start to the fourth to close to 49-41, but GB repelled the fightback with Dang Akodo knocking down a three before Steel scored five quickfire points to move into double figures with Carey following suit to complete a 12-point success.

Kapoulas’ side held their opponents to less than 30% shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle 45-38 as they dominated the middle period of the game to record their second win on the weekend.

Box Score: http://live.fibaeurope.com/www/Game.aspx?acc=3011&gameID=96623&lng=en

The FIBA U20s European Championship take place in Chalked between July 15th-24th where GB have been drawn in Group C, against Albania, Ireland, Kosovo, Netherlands and Greece during the first phase.

Keep up to date with the latest news throughout the off-season by liking ‘Bristol Flyers’ on Facebook, or following @BristolFlyers on Twitter.

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