108235465 gettyimages 842935460 - Great Britain beat Kosovo in EuroBasket Pre-Qualifiers
Gabe Olaseni top-scored for Great Britain

Great Britain opened their last-chance EuroBasket pre-qualifying campaign with a scrappy 71-63 win against Kosovo in Mitrovica.

Gabe Olaseni hit 15 points for GB, Luke Nelson added 14 and Myles Hesson 13 in a game that had few highlights.

The GB team gave coach Nate Reinking an uncomfortable first outing in charge as they struggled to gain control.

GB now play at home in Manchester for the next two Saturdays, against Luxembourg and Kosovo again.

The visitors had their all-time highest scorer Dan Clark out with injury in Reinking’s first game since being promoted to head coach.

Starting forward Ovie Soko, a recent contestant on Love Island, was rested as he gets back into shape and could feature in some of this month’s three remaining games.

Reinking gave new caps to Jamell Anderson, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Kingsley Okoroh.

Without two of their most influential scorers GB struggled to get into a rhythm in a messy first half, missing all but nine of their 33 shots.

Behind 36-30 after a slow start to the second half, GB took the lead with threes from Conner Washington and Kyle Johnson in a 16-2 run that featured five points from Hesson.

Kosovo were still not beaten and it took five points from Olaseni and a Nelson score on the break to give GB breathing room to see out the closing two minutes.

Group G P W L Pro Con PTS GD
Luxembourg 1 1 88 80 2 8
Great Britain 1 1 71 63 2 8
Kosovo 2 2 143 159 2 -16
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