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16 points from former NBA star John Amaechi helped England crush Scotland 78-49 at the Spurkess Cup in Luxembourg. The Scots never recovered from a dreadful start and although American-based Keiron Achara hit 15 in reply, the Auld Enemy stormed clear in the second half.
“We missed too many opportunities,” said Scotland coach Toni Szifris who will hope his team can break their duck in their final game against Luxembourg ton Sunday.
Julius Joseph also added 16 for the victors who are without Robert Youngblood who was a late withdrawal
Joseph was the hero later on as England edged out the hosts 71-70 with the Belgian-based swingman getting the decisive score on a tip-in seconds from the finish, taking his tally to a game-best 26.
England used a strong final quarter burst to defeat Scotland 65-53 in the opening game of the Spuerkess Cup in Luxembourg.
Peter Scantlebury's men were paced by Sheffield's American-born guard Nate Reinking who led all scorers with 18 points.
However after trailing 32-27 at half-time, the Scots rallied strongly to cut the deficit to just one at the close of the third period.
Despite a game-high haul of 20 from Stateside-based Keiron Achara, they could not close the gap as some sterling defence provided the spark for England to surge away.
Hosts Luxembourg later inflicted a 86-68 loss on a tired looking Scotland, who collapsed in the second half.
Scotland: Keiron Achara (Duquesne Univ), Peter Duncan, Mark Duncan, Keith Bunyan (Falkirk), Ross Campbell (Ayrshire), Laurie Costello, Kevin Anderson (Edinburgh), Campbell Flockhart, Stuart MacKay, Robert Shanks (East Lothian), Richard Martin (Glasgow Storm), Josh Tackie, Roni Gordon, Dan Wardrope (Scottish Rocks)
England: John Amaechi (Manchester), Ronnie Baker (Brighton), Andrew Bridge, Fab Flournoy, Perre Lawson (Newcastle), Julius Joseph (Colfontaine), Robert Reed (Falco), Nate Reinking (Sheffield) Rod Wellington, Dean Williams (Thames Valley), Drew Spinks (Milton Keynes)
Friday May 20
Scotland 65-53 England, Luxembourg 86-68 Scotland
Saturday May 21
England 78-49 Scotland, Luxembourg 70-71 England
Sunday May 22
Scotland v Luxembourg (9.00), Luxembourg v England (4.00)
Students gear up
Scotland could contribute as many as five players to the Great Britain
team for this summer's World Student Games in Turkey. With Achara a certain selection along with several English collegiate stars, GB coach Chris Finch has also summoned Scotland quartet Costello, Mackay, Campbell and Anderson to next month's trials in Sheffield.
Ex-BBL guard David Aliu alon with England caps Williams and Wellington are along among the 17 invited to try out for the squad which will be reduced to 12 for the Games.
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