TEAM GB 75 RUSSIA 95
PAISLEY’S Robert Archibald drew a blank as Team GB opened their basketball campaign with a painful 20-point defeat to Russia.
It was the Brits’ first Olympic outing in the men’s contest since 1948 and their inexperience showed as they were outclassed by their Group B rivals at the Basketball Arena in London.
It proved an especially frustrating evening for Archibald as the 6ft 11ins Buddie saw just 12 minutes of action and failed to score a single point.
The former NBA star – now playing for CAI Zaragoza in Spain – tweeted after the match: “Tough game against a probable medal team tonight. We just couldn’t break through and get the lead down into single digits.”
The host nation started in energetic fashion and led 18-17 following a three-pointer from Luol Deng.
But Russia gained control and were never threatened after opening up a 49-34 lead at the half-time interval.
“We can do better,” said Deng. “We’re just not here to be here, we want to compete. We came out to win the game.”
GB forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu said his team can’t dwell on the defeat.
“We’ll look at the tape and bounce back. We felt our half-court defence was good and they struggled against it,” he insisted.
“But when you turn the ball over and let them get baskets, it’s easy for them to get a lead.”
Meanwhile, GB’s next opponents Brazil – who they face this afternoon at 4.45pm – earned a hard-fought 75-71 win over Australia.