For Luke Nelson, BG Göttingen goalkeeper in the Basketball League, the German national team has gradually become the favorite competitor. In February 2020, the Brit was the most successful striker with 26 points in the second leg – even in front of spectators in Newcastle – in his team’s 81:73 victory over Germany in the European Championship Qualifiers. In the second leg a year later in Podgorica’s “bubble” in Montenegro, the 25-year-old dealt the decisive blow to Henrik Rudel’s side. In the last few seconds, he won the match, thus securing Great Britain’s participation in the European Championship 2022 with success at 83:81 – also because France, at the top of the table, narrowly defeated Montenegro by 73:71 and thus supported the British. This means that the duel between Great Britain and Montenegro on Monday only has the character of a friendly match.
The first (28:21) and the last quarter (17:13) went to Nelson and his team. The BG player was one of the top five and was on the field for the longest time among all the British players at 32:28 minutes. Behind Gabriel Olasini (20), Nelson was the second-best striker in his team, eventually getting 17 points. Not only did he pay off all free throws, but he was particularly successful early Saturday evening, especially from the two-point area, scoring an average of 83.3 per cent, having only one mistake in six attempts, plus three assists and four defensive rebounds.
While Nelson celebrated victory with his teammates in abundance and could already plan the European Championship in September 2022, he was the second BG player to compete for his country and teammates with tall faces. Rihards Lomazs lost to Latvia at home in Riga to Bulgaria 65:66. The hosts won in the first three quarters (17:15, 23:21, 19:15), but after a weak quarter-final in Latvia (6:15), the Bulgarians were able to turn things around and thus qualify for the European Championship. Lomaz was in the starting line-up for his team, scoring six points in under 31 minutes. On Monday evening, the last qualifying match for Group H was against Greece for Violet and his team, having only a test personality.