U18 Men's Recap: Ireland 67, Bulgaria 113
July 31, 2016
Sunday July 31st, 2016
FIBA U18 European Championships - Division B
Ireland 67, Bulgaria 113
Ireland came up against a strong Bulgarian outfit in the third of their four group games at the European Championships, going down 113-67 in Skopje.
An energetic start forced Bulgaria into the first four turnovers of the game with Tariq Guebaili supplying two early assists and Robert Sullivanâs three-pointer putting the sides level midway through the first. Bulgaria soon rattled off 19 points for a 24-9 lead and an animated Joey Boylan went to his bench in search of parity in the second quarter.
Oisin OâReilly duly obliged with five quick points and Matt Treacy chipped one in, but Bulgariaâs strength in depth was evident with 30 points off the bench in the first half alone. They were creating better looks and justifying their pedigree as a country who have played the majority of the 21st century at âAâ level. The Balkans were also Division B Gold medallists in 2011.
For all the strengths of Bulgaria, Ireland were more than a match in the third quarter. Matt Treacy sparked a 7-0 run with a three pointer before Adam Drummond took his tally into double digits. Bulgarian three-point specialist Ivaylo Tonev was shooting at 85% from the perimeter, but there was still time for Adam Heaphy, Eoin Rockall and Brian Ashton to ensure a 20 point quarter.
A 10-0 run from Ireland was racked up in just 42 seconds heading down the stretch - Three-pointers from OâReilly bookended converted steals on the fast-break from Guebaili. Bulgaria regrouped to stay on course for a quarter-final berth as the impressive Yordan Minchev took his tally to 30 points. Ireland must now round out their Group C action with a game against unbeaten Hungary.
Ireland: E. Rockall* (8), R. Sullivan* (5), A. Drummond* (15), T. Guebaili* (6), D. Ring* (4), B. Ashton (2), M. Treacy (5), C. Curran (6), S. Commins (1), O. OâReilly (11), A. Heaphy (4), D. Heaney.
Box Score: http://live.fibaeurope.com/www/Game.aspx?acc=0&gameID=98796&lng=en