RECAP: Ireland U20 Men 47 - 95 Croatia
July 18, 2017
FIBA Under 20 Men's European Championship Division B
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
Ireland’s Under 20 Men were unfortunately outmatched by an excellent Croatian team tonight at the European Championships. Croatia are one of the favourites for promotion from Division B and they showed exactly why with a dominant performance in Romania.
Coming into the game, Croatia had won all of their games and had yet to be challenged with an average winning margin of 31 points per game. It didn’t take long for them to show this dominance against Ireland. Defensive rebounds were challenging to come by but it was the offensive end where Ireland were struggling the most. The length and athleticism of the Croatians meant clean looks at the basket were rare. Aidan Dunne’s dunk was the highlight of the first quarter as Ireland trailed 23-10.
The second quarter was one of Ireland’s toughest of the tournament so far. A Sean Gilmore three got Ireland to eleven points down but the classy Croatians scored nineteen of the next twenty points to take a commanding 42-14 lead to the changing room at halftime.
Sean Gilmore hit another three pointer to start the second half and Matt Treacy got a nice and one in transition as Ireland started to score more consistently again. On the other end Croatia were moving the ball well and looked like a team that are poised for a deep run within this U20 Championships. The game got more scrappy in the fourth quarter with Croatia winning out 95 to 47.
Speaking afterwards, Assistant Coach Jimmy Ward reflected: “We just couldn’t find the basket in the first half. Overall we improved as the game went alone, doubling our scoring in the second half and improving our rebounding but that was an excellent Croatian team and once we gave them the big lead it was always going to be tough to catch them”.
“We now have a big game tomorrow against Hungary. If we can upset them we will finish in the Top 16 which is a something we’d really like to achieve. So we’re looking forward to that game and we’ll embrace what’s ahead of us.”
IRELAND: Aidan Dunne (6), Conor Ryan (2) ,Daniel Heaney (6), Dylan Corkery , Eoin Rockall (3), Marcus Black Philips (3) , Matt Treacy (6), Owen Connolly (3), Robert Sullivan, Ryan Leonard (2), Sean Gilmore (12), Tariq Guebaili (4)
BOX SCORE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ7sz2rJZqQ
Ireland U20 Men's squad: http://www.basketballireland.ie/u20men/
Return to Main FIBA Game Zone: http://www.fiba.com/europe/u20b/2017/