PREVIEW: Ireland U18 women face Sweden in must-win clash
August 10, 2018
A must-win clash against Sweden awaits the Ireland Under 18 women’s team this Saturday (August 11th), if their hopes of staying in Division A basketball for another year are to be kept alive.
The girls in green have had a tough week in the top flight of FIBA European basketball, with losses against Poland, Russia and France in the group stages. A difficult loss against Czech Republic followed, before the Irish almost pipped hosts Italy last night, losing out by ten points in the end.
Now, the talented squad must win their next two games in order to stay in Division A, with three out of the four teams at the bottom set to be relegated back to Division B.
First up for the Irish is Sweden tomorrow (Saturday) at 3.30pm Irish time. Sweden have also yet to register a win at this year’s tournament, but are well-known for dodging the relegation bullet on many occasions and definitely won’t be an easy challenge for the Irish, and although Ireland needs two wins from their two remaining games, head coach, Patrick O’Neill, is not looking any further ahead than tomorrow's clash.
“I think the girls have taken a lot of positives from last night’s game against Italy. We had a good training today and our only focus now is beating Sweden tomorrow," he said.
“We definitely have a good chance against them. They have struggled like us in this tournament, and if the girls can replicate the intensity and execution from last night, and reduce the number of turnovers, I think we’ll be in with a very good chance.”
OFFICIAL EVENT WEBSITE: http://www.fiba.basketball/europe/u18women/2018
IRELAND U18 WOMEN'S TEAM 2018: http://www.basketballireland.ie/u18women/