RECAP: Ireland U20 Men 53-81 Portugal
July 15, 2017
FIBA Under 20 Men's European Championship Division B
Saturday, July 15th, 2017
After the ideal start on Friday hopes were high for the Irish U20 team going into their clash with Portugal. Their opponents were also coming in on a high after narrowly beating Hungary in overtime in their first game. The Irish cause wasn't made an easier pregame by Young Superleague Player of the Year Ryan Leonard missing out due to injury.
Ireland hadn't been tested much in their first game and it affected them at the start of this game. Portugal were already used to a more intense game and they ran out to an early 8-0 lead. Their zone press was causing problems and their size around the basket made finishing difficult for Ireland. After a Dave Baker time out, the team settled down and found their way into the game. Rockall and Treacy did well and it was 13-8 mid way through the first. As the game progressed Portugal got more accustomed to the Irish zone and were soon moving the ball well and finding open shooters. Despite the slow start and some good shooting by Portugal the game was still within reach at 50-37 at halftime.
The second half started brightly for Ireland. Aidan Dunne was coming into the game more and we were limiting our turnovers. Any time Ireland got out to run good things were happening but they just weren't able to create enough of these opportunities. Mid way through the third, Ireland enjoyed their best spell and the score was brought back to just ten points. Portugal didn't panic though and quickly re-built an eighteen point lead effectively putting the game to bed by the end of the third.
In the 4th quarter both teams initially traded baskets but as the game wore on Ireland tired and Portugal were able to extend out their lead. Although very deserving winners the end scoreline of 83-51 flattered Portugal slightly.
Coach Dave Baker shared his thoughts on the game: “I thought we did a good job of keeping it close for the majority of the first half after we gave them the 8-0 start. In the third we got it back to ten points but unfortunately we just couldn't execute when it mattered most as we tried to get back into the game. The guys kept running and working hard which I'm happy with and it's just about regrouping now and and trying to get ready for our next game tomorrow."
IRELAND: Aidan Dunne (11), Conor Ryan (3), Daniel Heaney (5), Dylan Corkery (2), Eoin Rockall (4), Marcus Black Philips (5), Matt Treacy (8), Owen Connolly (4), Robert Sullivan (3), Ryan Leonard, Sean Gilmore (4), Tariq Guebaili (4)
YOUTUBE link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9nRRVCtYX4
Ireland U20 Men's squad: http://www.basketballireland.ie/u20men/
Return to Main FIBA Game Zone: http://www.fiba.com/europe/u20b/2017/