September 9 - Britain's 77-59 loss to Serbia, on the third and final night of preliminary group games in Warsaw, saw them eliminated from the European Basketball Championships.

Nate Reinking (pictured) hit four from eight of his two-point shots as well as 80 per cent of his three pointers to lead Britain by example with 21, but just as the stats did not like about his outstanding form they also showed that Serbia scored 13 points from turnovers, to Britain's two.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu recorded 16 points while Rob Archibald added nine.

Spain's earlier overtime win against Slovenia meant that both sides entered the game in the knowledge that victory for either would secure their place in Lodz and consequently end their opponent's EuroBasket journey.

But Britain were unable to recreate the form that saw them lead world champions Spain last night in a game which they trailed for all but the first two-and-a-half minutes.

Britain's coach Chris Finch said: "I thought they were the better team on the day, their experience and determination was clear, certainly.

"I think they played exactly as we thought; they were very physical and I think that we were a bit bothered by that, it got us out of our rhythm.

"I wish it could've been a bit of a tighter game; again we just didn't seem to have the answers tonight.

"I think we're not a million miles away certainly.

"We are missing some key personnel that would make the difference, but it's more than that.

"I compare it to becoming a better golfer; the closer you get to scratch the harder it is to shave those strokes off your game and that's the area we are now getting into.

"It's the little things we have to do better on and off the floor, as professionals and as a programme."

Andy Betts returned to the starting five, having missed the game against Spain due to a back injury.

He was joined by Flinder Boyd, Reinking, Archibald and captain Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan said: "It was a pretty physical game.

"I thought both teams played hard and I know for a fact that our guys competed and tried to play through a lot of stuff that was happening on the court.

"We tried to stay in the game, mentally I thought we did a pretty good job.

"Obviously this was not a result we were looking for but I feel we can leave with our heads held high because of the effort we gave throughout the three games we played here.

"The programme has come a long way in the past four years and four years ago we wouldn't be able to compete with these teams.

"The guys we have here have played extremely hard. If we can do this on a consistent basis and take care of small things that unfortunately have let us down too many times we will have the ability to compete with the best teams in Europe.

"We didn't win as many games as we would've liked to, you know everyone would like to win every single game.

"But everyone put the effort in.

"I'm sure we will all leave thinking about what we could have done to put ourselves in a better situation and I feel sure we have extremely good professionals in this team and we will sit down, as a group and individuals, to talk about what we could have done personally or collectively to help the team."
For the first time in the group Britain scored the opening baskets, Archibald and Boyd both made lay-ups inside the paint, however Serbia went on a nine-point run to lead 11-7.

From there Britain only added a further five points to Serbia's 10 in the first quarter, as they were turned over several times.

Britain opened the second period with a Mensah-Bonsu alley-coop .

The Londoner's third basket of the game, and Archibald's second, helped Britain not only pull closer to the Serbs but also establish some stability, for the time being.
Serbia went unanswered for six points, until Reinking hit a pair from the charity strip.

Sullivan's dunk in the seventh minute (pictured) of the quarter made it 33-25, but Serbia soon enjoyed their biggest lead of the game when they added a further four points to the board.

When Britain returned to the court for the second half they trailed 39-29, until Mensah-Bonsu's lay-up and Reinking's third three of the game halved the deficit. 

But with Freeland ruled out for the remainder of the game through injury Britain were resigned to a further handicap when Archibald picked up his fourth foul, less than three minutes into the third period.

Having pulled themselves back into the game Britain were no sooner worse off than at the beginning of the quarter as Serbia led 50-37.
Britain started the final quarter 46-58 and with Serbia in full flow they were in danger of trailing by 20 until Lenzly's shot from outside the arc made it 46-64.

Britain did at least manage to eat into the 18-point deficit, however Serbia kept them at bay as they ensured the lead they had gained in the second minute of the game was translated into a second group win and consequently a ticket to Lodz.

Related stories
September 2009: Britain close to shocking world champions Spain
September 2009: Britain lose opening EuroBasket match