Basketball: Devon’s dozen not enough as GB crash out

Devon van Oostrum (No 7) with the Great Britain team after their loss against Ukraine in the 2013 Eurobasket. Mansoor Ahmed Photography.
Devon van Oostrum (No 7) with the Great Britain team after their loss against Ukraine in the 2013 Eurobasket. Mansoor Ahmed Photography.
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Sheffield’s Devon van Oostrum scored 12 points for Great Britain against Ukraine but couldn’t prevent his team from going out of the Eurobasket Championships in Slovenia.

Former Junior Sharks guard Van Oostrum, aged 20, who plays in Spain’s top league, was joint top scorer but the 87-68 loss put an end to any chances of Britain making it through to the second round of the tournament.

It was a valiant effort from coach Joe Prunty’s men, who matched their best-ever showing of the modern era at a European Championships but the sheer size of the experienced Ukrainians proved too hot to handle as they booked their spot in the next phase out of Group A.

“We battled once the game got going, but we needed to get it from the start,” Prunty said. “We got our rhythm back, cut it to one but in the second quarter it was tough for us. I was proud of the fight we had in the second half, our guys tried to compete. We were trying to pressure, trying to get more possessions in the game. But it was a great effort by Ukraine.”

Van Oostrum and Kieron Achara led Great Britain with 12 points each with Andrew Lawrence adding 10.