GB Mens

Great Britain Vs Italy (M)

Great Britain Men beat Italy for the second time in the European Championships, this time in the semi-final.

Despite falling behind after 30 seconds, Kyle Marsh asserted his quality with a wonderful 3-pointer to instantly put Great Britain into the lead. The team never looked back and quickly grew in confidence, adding further baskets from the likes of Lee Manning and Simon Brown helping stretch their advantage.

It was a scrappy end to the first quarter with a mixture of fouls and missed opportunities – but Great Britain continued in charge up until halftime, holding onto that 8-point advantage with the score standing at 33-25.

By that halfway period Gregg Warburton had already registered 5 assists, and after just 50 seconds into the third quarter he was providing for his teammates once again, steering the ball to Lee Manning who made no mistake.

Manning was in outstanding form in attack, and in the third quarter scooped a slightly wayward pass from the clutches of converging Italy players and, despite missing with his first attempt, remarkably retained the ball and casually flicked in the rebound.

With just over 1 minute left in the third quarter, Simon Brown was fouled and fell heavily – unable to convert his free-throws but who else but Lee Manning was first to the rebound to score.

Leading 48-35 going into the last ten minutes, Great Britain looked to get stronger as the game went on, Kyle Marsh working well in both defence and attack. In the end they were too much for the Italians to cope with, finishing the game 65 – 43 winners.

Italy vs Great Britain (M)

Great Britain Men were able to overcome a tough nut to crack in Italy – persevering through a low-scoring opening quarter and coming out 40-61 winners.

After almost five minutes gone, there had been a mere two points scored – both free throws from Phillip Pratt and then Harry Brown. A scrappy game to say the least, with both teams struggling to find their rhythm.

Great Britain were then immediately put under intense pressure in the second quarter, with Italy starting fast and scoring seven points. Determined to keep their opponents at bay, Great Britain managed to keep their lead to at least four points, then reasserted themselves to go into half time at 19 – 31.

In a game where shot conversion didn’t quite hit the heights of previous games, Gregg Warburton top scored with an impressive 18 points. Phillip Pratt was equally influential, 11 points and a remarkable 9 assists, never losing energy to drive attacks despite playing every minute of the game.

Great Britain made their customary mass substitutions going into the final quarter, in a bid to maintain high energy as Italy chased the game from behind. Before long, the game was out of the Italians reach, a pair of expert free-throws from Harry Brown ensuring another big win in the group stage.

Great Britain vs Israel (M)

Great Britain’s Men’s team eased their way into the 2021 European Championships with a dominant 103-46 win over Israel.

Kyle Marsh, Gregg Warburton and Terry Bywater led the scoring with an impressive 52 points between them. Yet the strength of depth was on display with Lee Manning and Phil Pratt also picking up more than 10 points each. GB successfully pressured the Israeli defence, scooping 24 free throw opportunities and the fast paced attacks resulted in 21 points for the British side.

Despite Israel leading 18 – 15 after the first quarter as Amit Vigoda scored an impressive three pointer as the whistle blew, Terry Bywater’s entrance halfway through Q2 made an immediate impact, with the six-time Paralympian scoring 12 points for the Great Britain side in the second ten minutes. GB found their form and had an impressive 19-point lead at half time.

Ending the third quarter 74-40, GB continued to assert their control, utilising their speed and extending their advantage to 34 points.

Thanks to the sensational shooting from Kyle Marsh in the final quarter, GB continued to increase their lead finishing at 103-46 at the final whistle.

Great Britain vs Austria (M)

Great Britain’s Men got through their sternest test of the European Championships to date with a hard-fought victory over Austria.

Despite starting well and approaching the second quarter with a 19-7 lead, Great Britain felt a strong response from Austria and went into half time narrowly in front.

Terry Bywater then scored 9 points in the third quarter to help Great Britain regain control of the game, ending the game second top scorer overall on 17 points, and also contributing 4 assists. Gaz Choudhry was the only player to better Bywater, netting 19. The game featured a number of strong challenges and a competitive atmosphere as Austria tried to put the GB team under as much pressure as possible.

Great Britain kept their cool throughout and put in a fantastically professional performance, able to capitalise on turnovers as Austria pressed high in attack – scoring 4 fast break points to Austria’s zero.

With a somewhat comfortable lead, it was five changes going into the final quarter of the game, and one substitute Kyle Marsh made an instant impact on proceedings, finding the net after just 13 seconds.

Great Britain remained strong until the last, racking up 13 points without reply until Austria opted to call a timeout in an effort to slow down the momentum of their opponents. Another win on the board from Great Britain who finished the game as 99 – 51 winners.

The Netherlands vs Great Britain (M)

Later in the afternoon, GB Men were also in action and recorded their second victory of the competition, winning out over the Netherlands 45-69.

Lee Manning shone from the very start, winning the ball to start the game – and this set the tone for a strong performance from the captain.

From starting the game off winning possession, to sinking a shot with 6 seconds left on the clock to end the first quarter, giving Great Britain a 10-21 lead as reward for their fast start.

The high quality continued to half time, with Phillip Pratt and Simon Brown entering mid-way through the second quarter to help shore up the game and fully assert Great Britain’s control. A successful switch, as the team extended their lead to 16-37.

Lee Manning scored a remarkable 18 points across the game, and also turned provider on a number of occasions, registering 2 assists.

The Netherlands were competitive until the very last, and finished the game strongly with a 20 point final quarter – but Great Britain were able to hold their advantage, eventually ending the game 45-69 winners.

Both teams are in action again today, with GB Women taking on Turkey at 13:30 GMT, and GB Men facing off against Austria at 16:45

Great Britain vs France (M)

Great Britain Men defeated France to advance to the European Championship semi-finals.

Now in the knockout stages, both teams started strongly, not wanting to fall too far behind and risk struggling to overcome a deficit. Great Britain nudged in front with a smart fast break layup from Lee Manning, but France soon pegged them back and snuck into a slender lead. The two teams then demonstrated some wonderful longer-range shooting, taking no time at all to warm up.

Gaz Choudhry showed class with a sumptuous 3-pointer to tie the game at 9-9, and then the introduction of Phillip Pratt and Simon Brown helped Great Britain make it to the end of the first quarter narrowly in front.

From there, the men only grew in confidence and 2.5 player Harry Brown impressed offensively, finding the net frequently to keep the game out of reach from the French. Brown ended up with 9 points, and was perhaps unlucky not to add to his tally. Just before the halfway point, Lee Manning aptly dispatched a pair of free-throws, and immediately followed this up with another driving layup assisted by Simon Brown. Brown then turned scorer to put Great Britain firmly in control, the score at 32-23.

An assertive second quarter did most of the work for Great Britain, and despite being pressurised by France, they entered the final stages with a 12-point advantage and an almost unassailable lead. As France tired, Great Britain did not slow their efforts, Kyle Marsh making consecutive 2-pointers before going one better with a wonder 3-point effort.

A final score of 81-56 saw Great Britain Men make it through comfortably to the semi-finals, and will believe in this form they can go all the way and add to their previous European titles.

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Men 70:43 Algeria

Great Britain’s Men’s team began their Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games campaign with a dominant team performance in a 70:43 victory over Algeria. 

All 12 of the athletes selected to represent ParalympicsGB in Tokyo played their part as Gaz Choudhry and Terry Bywater led the GB scoring with 11 points each but there were points spread throughout the team. 

It was a sign of the strength of depth within the squad, which includes five Paralympic debutants, with 30 points coming from the bench – including six points for Ben Fox, four for Lewis Edwards, two for James MacSorley and one for Billy Bridge all in their first ever Paralympics game. 

But it was the starting five of Gaz Choudhry, Harry Brown, Abdi Jama, Gregg Warburton and Lee Manning that provided a strong base for GB to build from after an opening quarter that saw GB hold a 19:12 advantage. 

2018 World Championships MVP Gregg Warburton found his form immediately, scoring with each of his first quarter attempts to end the opening quarter with eight points. 

The second quarter saw the unit of Terry Bywater, Ian Sagar, Ben Fox, Jim Palmer and James MacSorley deployed with Ben Fox scoring the first two of his six points early in the quarter. The experienced shooters of Bywater and Sagar, competing at their sixth and third Paralympics respectively, added to GB’s points tally during the quarter helping to establish a 12-point lead at the halfway stage (33:21). 

GB continued to assert their control on the game in the second-half; utilising their speed on the press as they extended their advantage to 23 points heading into the final quarter. Success from turnovers was a particular success throughout the game, with GB scoring 28 points off turnovers. 

Player-coach Gaz Choudhry looked as composed as ever, even with the added responsibility of taking-up a coaching role, leading the GB scoring with Bywater with 11 points, as he helped extend GB’s advantage in the third quarter. 

The final quarter will live long in the memory of Lewis Edwards and Billy Bridge, not only did GB get their Tokyo campaign off to a winning start, but it was a quarter that saw Edwards and Bridge make their first senior GB appearance and, to top it off, score their first Paralympics points on their debut. 

Edwards and Bridge were part of a GB five in the final quarter that included four Paralympics debutants alongside the experience of Terry Bywater, who scored a final quarter three-pointer to take him to 11 points for the game, along with six rebounds and nine assists.

From six-time Paralympian to Paralympic debutant, the final points were scored by James MacSorley who rounded-off his first Paralympics appearance with a neat finish to a fast break in the final 30 seconds of the game. 

The Men’s team are back in action on Friday at 06:45 (BST) when they take on Germany.