RECAP: Ireland U16M 58-87 Belarus
August 18, 2017
FIBA U16 Men's European Championship Division B
(Bulgaria, August 18th, 2017)
A huge effort from the Irish Under 16 men who lost out to Belarus 87-58 in a game that doesn’t reflect the score board. Despite the loss, they made their own piece of history securing a spot in the top 12.
It all started out well for Ireland with Sanmi Fajana and David Lehane opening the scoring in the first quarter. Lehane was on target with two pinpoint threes to bring Ireland into an early lead. The power house Fajana sprang into action early in the game with a dunk followed quickly by another 2 points. It was a head-to-head battle for both teams as they traded baskets to end 16 apiece.
The second quarter ran with the same level of intensity and concentration with the boys in green edging slightly ahead. Belarus found it difficult to handle Paul Kelly with his ruthless drives, weaving his way through the Belarus defence and forcing fouls. Ireland’s defence was solid driving Belarus to take outside shots leaving Fajana to clean up any rebounds. Belarus matched Ireland score for score but with a slick pass from CJ Fulton to Oisin Rice before the first timeout, Ireland took the lead 24-22. Belarus went to penalty fouls, which Kelly took advantage of with some superb drives, bringing him to the line twice before the half time buzzer. Ireland lead 36-34.
The break gave Belarus a chance to regroup while fatigue from yesterday’s tough game began to show from the Irish side. Belarus started to poke holes in Irelands defence bridging a gap of 1o points by the end of the third. The ball just didn’t bounce right for Ireland in the last quarter as Belarus moved further and further away, finishing the game 87 to Ireland’s 58.
Coach Pat Price reflected on the game:’ It was a game of two halves, we competed well in the first half and did what we set out to do on both ends of the court. The second half was more physical and mental and we just lost our way. In fairness to Belarus they hit some big shots in the second half that didn’t go their way in the first, and that wore us out.
Tomorrow we will play either Poland or Bosnia and we are familiar with both programs. It’s been a two-year journey with these guys, so tomorrow is sort of a curtain call. They will want to go out and put up a good show, so hopefully we will have enough fuel in the tank to do that.’
Result – FIBA U16 Men’s European Championship Division B
August 19th - Classification Game 9 -12th place
Ireland 58-87 Belarus
IRELAND: Paul Kelly (6), CJ Fulton, Nathan Moore (1), Andrew O’Connor, Cian Daly (4), David Lehane (14), Daire Kennelly, Oisin Rice (6), Tiernan Howe, Sanmi Fajana (14), Daniel Arimoro (13), Ronan Cregan.
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIvP_G9mOBQ