Team Ireland return from Baku 2015 European Games

Team Ireland return from Baku 2015 European Games

  • Sep 07,2015
Team Ireland made a joyful return to Dublin Airport this morning from the Baku 2015 European Games.

Ireland’s 3x3 Basketball Squad was in the lead group into the arrivals hall as top 10 finishers, greeted warmly by friends, family and supporters.

The Irish were rank outsiders coming into the competition but finished up in eighth place, having been knocked out by the gold medal winning Russian federation.

Russia went on to beat Ukraine in the final. As with the quarter final against Ireland, the sides were level mid-way through but the decider finished up earlier and Russia put up the highest score of the tournament in the process.

The players spoke to media in the Arrivals Hall:

Suzanne Maguire (C): We assembled this squad quite quickly when this journey started a year ago and we had minimal experience compared to some of the other squads out there. So to showcase our talents, adapt quickly and compete well, there’s a huge opportunity there in competitions going forward, provided we get the support. Obviously there’s a huge discussion about the international scene. It brings up a lot of emotions in people in basketball and hopefully this is a springboard to get us back on track. It can’t come quick enough right now. 3x3 has its own place but we want the full sport back to us.

Niamh Dwyer: There was a huge sense of pride in the jersey again. For all the years playing, this is something special. It was great to play with the girls. We bonded really well and to perform the way we did, it just shows what potential we have in basketball in Ireland for such a small country. The recognition even walking into the arrivals hall was like ‘Aw are ye the basketball girls?’ so we’ve definitely gotten a lot more recognition and we’re only home 10 minutes.

Orla O’Reilly: 3x3 is something we can definitely compete in and there’s an opportunity here to compete at an Olympic level. I think we’ve shown we can hang with the more experienced teams. We got a pretty tough draw against Russia but there were other teams there that could have given us a better draw into the semis. It’s a good start and the future is definitely bright for us.

Grainne Dwyer: I think it makes everything more competitive and it’s bound to raise the standard of basketball for the new season ahead.
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