Great Britain pulled off a stunning 81-73 come-from-behind win over Germany at a raucous Eagles Community Arena in Newcastle.
The irrepressible Luke Nelson scored 26 points while Ovie Soko had 18 and 10 rebounds as GB showed true grit to withstand German pressure and set up a grandstand finish.
GB went into the sold-out EuroBasket 2021 qualifier at the Eagles Community Arena looking to bounce back from last week’s narrow defeat in the Group G opener in Montenegro.
And they did it in style.
Starting with Teddy Okereafor, Nelson, Myles Hesson, Soko and Gabe Olaseni, GB made an improved opening to the game having fallen behind quickly in Podgorica.
Soko and Nelson were active for eight and six points respectively as GB ended the first quarter 22-17 down.
Nelson sank a three then added one from the line to give the home team a 35-30 advantage and as Germany entered the foul penalty the home team held their composure to edge the first half by a point at 40-39.
The third period started with to and fro before Germany pulled out to a 54-46 lead. A Dan Clarke three kept GB alive but Andreas Obst replied in the same fashion.
A Soko dunk followed by one from the line made it 61-56 in the visitors’ favour going into the fourth.
GB opened the final quarter with a Ben Mockford three before Carl Wheatle tied things up and a Clarke three edged the home team ahead and another from Nelson restored the lead shortly after.
Successive GB stops led to a Soko dunk to put 73-70 up with 2.15 to play then an outrageous long-range three from Mockford and another triple from Nelson made it 79-70 in the Brits’ favour with less than a minute to play.
Soko stretched it to 81-70 with 24 seconds on the clock and GB saw out out a thrilling win.