EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers: GB Men down Netherlands 98-94, Czechia up next

Great Britain's Men got their FIBA EuroBasket 2025 qualifying campaign off to a winning start by beating the Netherlands 98-94 at the Vertu Motors Arena on Friday night.

Myles Hesson led the way with a joint game-high 23 points that included going 3/4 from long range and hitting his first seven shots. The Commonwealth Gold Medalist also added four rebounds and four steals, with Akwasi Yeboah (17pts) and Luke Nelson (14pts, 12ast) both playing well.

Ahead by as many as 21 points, things looked well-set for GB in front of a strong crowd in Newcastle, but a late wobble would cast the final score into doubt.

The Dutch pulled to within two at 82-80 with 4:23 remaining, but coach Steutel’s side regrouped before forging ahead once again.

With the pressure rising, a basket from Nelson followed by three-pointers from Yeboah and Patrick Whelan lifted GB to an opening victory in Group F.

GB now head to Czechia in their second FIBA EuroBasket 2025 qualifier, which tips off at 7:15pm tonight.

Head coach Marc Steutel said:

“I’m exceptionally delighted, proud of my young team and I think we have had an evolution of a new group. Learning how to win at this level is a skill in itself and we understand how competitive every game is at this level.

“Do we want to play a cleaner second half? Absolutely, for sure, but credit to the Netherlands, they did a great job of making plays and staying in the game.

“However, I thought when it came down to making key winning basketball plays, I was exceptionally proud of how my group did that.”

GB's Luke Nelson added:

“We had players reminding us that this is a 40-minute game, there is going to be ups and downs.

“We had some ups early, the Netherlands had their ups late on, but we withstood it and finished strong and that’s what won it for us.”

History helping GB

GB now head to Czechia for the second game in Group F, who were beaten 72-64 by Greece to open their own campaign.

History is on GB’s side against the side 19th in the FIBA World Rankings. When they last met in 2008, a Chris Finch-led GB won 67-63 as part of a campaign that saw the team qualify for their first-ever FIBA EuroBasket in 2009.

With a chance to make it two from two, Steutel wants the current GB side to do the same: “Czechia is a difficult place to go and play. They are a highly-ranked team for obvious reasons.

“They have a rich heritage, are very physical and have depth inside their front line, so we have to make sure that we are ready to play and do as best as we can.”

You can catch Great Britain in action tonight against Czechia exclusively on Courtside 1891 via Subscribe here.


Main image credit - GB.Basketball/FIBA