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Swiss basketball team lose to England

Switzerland's Patrick Kohler tries to pass England's Steve Bucknall Keystone

Switzerland's hopes of reaching next year's European basketball Championships suffered a setback on Wednesday when the national team were beaten 53-61 by England.

Although the Swiss got off to a promising start, inspiring hopes of victory among the 2400 spectators in Porrentruy, their opponents were quick to catch up and eventually took the lead half way through the game.

The Swiss managed a comeback, and were only one point behind the English in the 35th minute. England then scored 10 crucial points and left the Swiss trailing.

Switzerland’s top player was Harold Mrazek, who scored 16 points.

The Swiss side are attempting to qualify for the finals of the European Championships for the first time in 46 years.

Having now lost three of their first six games, Switzerland have dropped to fourth in their group, behind England, who were beaten 73-60 by the Swiss in their first encounter.

The two top sides go through to next year’s finals in Turkey. So far, Croatia remain in the lead, followed by Hungary and England.

The team have two more games to play in the coming days. On Saturday, Renato Carettoni’s men face a tough assignment in Riga against a Latvian side which beat Switzerland 91-76 in their last meeting.

The hardest game of all though is likely to be next Wednesday’s home match against the group leaders Croatia. The Balkan side have won all six of their matches so far, including a 93-53 hammering of the Swiss.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR