Ireland Under 16 Men’s team were in action at a tournament in Belarus recently. 

Belarus 74

Ireland 55

Ireland Under 16 boys fell to a 74-55 defeat in the opening game of the Ryzhenkov Cup in Minsk. Ireland traded baskets early before several turnovers gifted Belarus a 25-14 opening quarter lead. 

Despite holding the home team scoreless for six minutes in the second quarter and closing the gap to 31-26, Belarus finished on an 8-0 run and entered half time leading 39-26.

Paul Kelly shone in the second half, finishing with 14 points and 5 rebounds, but the damage - due to multiple Ireland turnovers - left its mark and the lead grew to 43-26.

Sanmi Fajana battled hard in the paint to secure 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, while David Lehane and Matthew Harper each contributed 4 assists.

Poland: 69

Ireland: 48

Ireland’s U16 men’s team fell to a 69-48 point defeat, in a bruising, physical battle at the Ryzenkov Cup in Minsk, Belarus.
In a game that featured 52 fouls, Ireland trailed 22-15 after the first quarter, with Paul Kelly influential throughout. The lead stretched to 11 at the half, with the Irish playing much more cohesive basketball than their performance against Belarus on Friday.
Poland's defence in the third quarter was stifling however, and Ireland managed a mere three points in the quarter, thus putting the game effectively out of reach. Feisty play in the 4th quarter saw Ireland outscore Poland 18-11 in the quarter, but the damage was done and Poland ran out 69-48 winners.
For Ireland, Kelly, Nathan Moore and Kevin Moynihan split 24 points, while Kelly added 7 rebounds.

Lithuania: 82

Ireland: 38

In their final game of the prestigious Ryzhenkov Cup in Belarus, Ireland Under 16 Men’s team fought hard, but were outmatched in their 82-38 loss to Lithuania.
Sanmi Fajana dropped in 10 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, while Paul Kelly, CJ Fulton and Andrew O'Connor combined for 21 points for the Irish.

Indeed, Kelly was named on the All-Tournament Team following his outstanding performances over the weekend, while Tournament MVP Marek Blazevic led Lithuania with 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Lithuania utilised their massive size advantage to control the boards throughout, finishing with a 46-31 advantage.
Ireland U16 Head Coach Pat Price: "Full credit to Lithuania today - they are at a level we aspire to attain. Their height and size caused us a lot of problems. This weekend was all about establishing a measuring stick for our team as we prepare for European Championships. We certainly improved throughout the weekend, and we need to build on this experience.  Three games on consecutive days against high-level teams was a snapshot of what lies ahead for us."

Ireland Under 16 Men Team Management:

Head Coach: Pat Price

Asst. Coach: Paudie Fleming

Team Manager: Trish Nolan 

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