Great Britain may be handed World Championships wild card
GREAT Britain's hopes of competing at the London 2012 Olympics could receive a major boost with world governing body FIBA considering handing them a wild card entry to next year's World Championships.
SHINING LIGHT: Pops Mensah-Bonsu could get the chance to represent Great Britain at next year's World Championships
Team GB have won just one of their 12 international matches this summer, including three defeats at the recent EuroBasket - at the hands of Slovenia, finalists Serbia and eventual champions Spain.
Only the top six teams at EuroBasket qualified for the World Championships next August, while 20 of the 24 teams set to compete in Turkey have now been confirmed.
There are four wild cards to be confirmed in December however, and FIBA president Bob Elphinston revealed the fact that the next Olympics are in London could strengthen their chances of selection.
"It's been hard to measure Great Britain's performance - they must show they are competitive week after week and that remains to be seen," said Elphinston.
"The results show they were in the toughest group of all so it's tough - they clearly still have to do the job, they have to get all their best players on the floor, which they have not managed to do yet."
Great Britain were deprived of the services of NBA stars Luol Deng and Ben Gordon, while Pops Mensah-Bonsu was a late addition to the squad in Poland.
And while head coach Chris Finch saw his side slip to three consecutive defeats, there were positive signs to take, including a rousing performance against world champions Spain, before crashing to an 84-76 defeat.
"I think we're not a million miles away certainly. We are missing some key personnel that would make the difference, but it's more than that," said Finch.
"I compare it to becoming a better golfer; the closer you get to scratch the harder it is to shave those strokes off your game and that's the area we are now getting into.
"It's the little things we have to do better on and off the floor, as professionals and as a programme."