Team GB played Spain tonight in a London 2012 Olympic group game, and lost by just a single point. Team GB are ranked 43rd in the world, and Spain is ranked 2nd, so that should give you some idea of just how fantastic that score line is, although disappointing for GB that they couldn't quite clinch the win.
There was much excitement ahead of the game, with Spain putting out an NBA-player-packed team including brothers, Pau and Marc Gasol (of the LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies respectively), Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors), and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder). Fans on both sides were eager to see Spain go up against the vastly improved GB Team, with the likes of Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Nate Reinking putting in great performances for the UK team.
The 4th quarter of the game was exciting for both sides, as Team GB managed to stay within just a few points of the Spanish team. Luol Deng had gotten into foul trouble, alongside four other GB players, with Reinking fouling out with seconds left in the game. In the dying minutes of the game GB relied on some sharp 3 point shooting from both Deng and Dan Clark to keep them in the game.
GB were down by a single point with 8 seconds left on the game clock, after Deng sunk a contested 3, sending the crowd into a frenzy. That single point difference is how the game ended, 78 - 79, with GB unable to commit a convincing enough foul to get the referees to stop the clock again before the final buzzer.
While Team GB might wonder 'what if?', there's no doubt that this performance shows just how far the team has come in being able to stand up with some of the best basketball teams in the world. A telling stat might be that Team GB won the last quarter 30 points to 19.
The Brits now sit 5th in their group, having lost their first 3 games. Things aren't over just yet however, as the top four teams go through to the next round.