GAMEZONE: FIBA Men's and Women's 3x3 Europe Cup Qualifiers
June 29, 2019
The Ireland Senior men’s and women’s 3x3 teams are travelling to Constanta, Romania today ahead of the start of the FIBA 3X3 Europe Cup Qualifiers which tip off tomorrow Saturday (June 29th).
The Irish women’s team has been drawn in a tough Pool B against Spain and Serbia. Their first game will see them go head-to-head against Spain at 09:15am Irish time on Saturday morning. Senior women’s 3x3 head coach Matt Hall has a realistic outlook ahead of the tournament: “We are really looking forward to getting out to Romania and starting the tournament. We have prepared well with a good training camp this week, the only negative was Orla O’Reilly picking up an injury but in Edel Thornton we have an excellent replacement. It will be very challenging with only two teams going forward from the qualifier but we will focus on competing one game at a time”
Meanwhile the Irish men’s team are also facing some serious competition in pool B with hosts Romania, Spain and Belgium providing their opponents. Their first game will be at 15:40pm against Romania. Colin O’Reilly, who is the senior men’s player/coach commented: “We have just finished a mini training camp in prep for the tournament which helped refresh our body and minds of the differences between 3x3 and the full sided game. As always, we would like to have more time together as a group but I feel we have good balance and potential offensively to give us a chance in games. We have been drawn in a very tough pool but wins in the past few years against the likes of Germany, Latvia and Georgia gives us the hope we can provide a few more surprises.”
Watch Saturday's games live here: https://youtu.be/-Ay2foPid_A
Watch Sunday's game live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTe-SynovS8
You can view the event website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/3x3europecup/2019/Romania
Ireland Senior Men’s 3x3 Europe Cup qualifier Results
Ireland 13-18 Romania
Ireland 12-16 Spain
Ireland 13-17 Belgium
Ireland Senior Women’s 3x3 Europe Cup qualifier Results
Ireland 2-19 Spain
Ireland 14-10 Serbia
Ireland Senior Men’s 3x3 Europe Cup Detailed Results
In their final game, Ireland 3x3 men lost out to seventh ranked Belgium. As was the case in the previous game it was tied with just a minute to go but they couldn’t stop Belgium in that final minute. A slow start to the game from both teams saw defence win out with Belgium getting a score off a solid post move before Ryan Leonard had a strong finish at rim to tie the game. Again, Belgium went inside as the windy conditions made outside shooting a lottery before Taiwo Badmus scored off a backdoor cut to keep it even. Badmus was just getting going as every time Belgium scored, he answered, first off an offensive board put back, then a strong take through contact to the rim before hitting a step back jumper on the baseline. With 6.50 to go it was Ireland leading 5-4, Belgium tied the score before Stephen James hit his first basket. Belgium then hit a purple patch, hitting four baskets in a row in the space of a minute, it was 6 – 9 with 4.20 to go before Badmus scored followed by Leonard who knocked down a top of the key 2 off a great offensive set and then Colin O’Reilly got his first score of the game with a open 2 to put Ireland up 11- 9 with 2.40 on the clock. Belgium didn’t fade away, they hit a 2 to tie things up before James knocked down one of his own to keep Ireland 13 – 11 up. Belgium had two solid pick and roll scores to even the game with 59 secs to go and then pushed on from there. Ireland couldn’t get the shot to drop and Belgium scored the last four baskets to take the win, Ireland 13 – 17 Belgium. Coach Colin O’Reilly “It was a bit like groundhog day, the same things hurt us in each game like getting easy baskets in transition but that comes from experience, we have the potential but we need to get a core group that commit to playing throughout the year and not just every time the qualifiers come round. We have some very talented players in this country and this format is one were we can compete at an elite level if we focus and put some energy into 3x3 basketball”
IRELAND: Colin O’Reilly (2), Stephen James (3), Ryan Leonard (3), Taiwo Badmus (5)
In Ireland’s second game they again came up just short against fifth ranked Spain. In a game that went down to the wire it finished Ireland 12 – 16 Spain. Ireland again started well with Taiwo Badmus going to work in the paint and getting the roll but Spain showed their game plan, going inside to their very big post players. This would be a recurring theme throughout the game, with Spain having three players over 6’7”. Spain hit the next couple of points and it looked ominous for Ireland but Colin O’Reilly had a lay-up and then a beautiful assist to Ryan Leonard on his backdoor cut to level the score 3 – 3 with 8.10 to go. The next two minutes were all Spain, they scored inside off of a putback and some solid post moves but some heroic defence from Ireland limited it to just 3 points. Spain’s physicality was causing Ireland lots of problems in their attempts to score.
With 5.35 left, Badmus scored a really tough basket inside having rebounded his own miss, O’Reilly got to the free throw line and made it to leave the score at the half way mark 5 – 6 Spain. With 4.15 to go Spain hit their first shot from beyond the arc but Badmus replied with his own 2 instantly before stealing the ball, getting fouled and making both free throws to give Ireland their first lead since the opening score 9 – 8. Another strong post move inside saw Spain tie the game before Stephen James hit a 2 to give Ireland the lead back. Spain showed why they are so dangerous with a 2 on the next possession before going back inside to get another score, draw a foul and go 2 up with 1.14 to play. Badmus hit a long jumper to bring it back to 12 -13 Spain with just under a minute to go. Spain went back inside and scored on a pick and roll to give them a 2 point lead. Ireland just couldn’t get that next shot to drop with James and Badmus rimming out and were forced to foul. Spain hit two more free throws and it finished Ireland 12 – 16 Spain.
IRELAND: Colin O’Reilly (2), Stephen James (2), Ryan Leonard (1),Taiwo Badmus (7)
Ireland open their account in the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup qualifiers with a loss, going down 13 - 18 to second ranked and hosts Romania. Ireland started well with Taiwo Badmus driving down the lane to get the opening score in the first few seconds, Romania countered immediately and tied it up. With 9.10 left Badmus had a spectacular put back dunk that had the crowd on their feet. Romania however hit their first 2 of the game after a lay-up to take back the lead 2 – 4 with 8.44 to go. Stephen James had a lay-up off an excellent pass from Badmus to cut their lead to 1. Badmus showed just how dangerous he could be getting the next two scores to put Ireland up 5 – 4 with 7.10 to go, however this was the last lead Ireland enjoyed as Romania started to adjust to Ireland’s game and hit some daggers from beyond the arc.
A lay-up and a 2 put them back in front before a Ryan Leonard put back and a Badmus steal and finish at the rim tied things up at 7 -7 with 5.50 to go. Romania hit another 2 to give them a lead they never gave up from there. Colin O’Reilly finished off a James steal to get one back and then Leonard saved an offensive board, jumping out over the baseline and finding O’Reilly for another lay-up to keep the difference at one. With 2.40 to go, Irelands sixth foul sent Romania to shoot one after getting the friendly roll to allow them to jump out to a 9 – 12 lead, less than a minute later another and ‘2’ push that lead out to 9 -16. Badmus made one free throw and a turn around jumper with a minute on the clock to cut their lead to 5. Another steal from O’Reilly that he finished brought it to 12 -16 but a converted technical foul and a lay-up from Romania stopped any chance of an upset. Badmus finished off the last Irish play with another spectacular dunk to leave the final score at Ireland 13 - 18 Romania.
IRELAND: Colin O’Reilly (3), Stephen James (1), Ryan Leonard (1), Taiwo Badmus (8)
Ireland Senior Women’s 3x3 Europe Cup Qualifier Detailed Results
A vastly improved performance saw Ireland beat fifth ranked Serbia in their final pool game. Serbia who had come off the wrong side of a 13 – 10 game against Spain were on the back foot from the off as Ireland attacked the rim and were more aggressive on defence.
Fiona O’Dwyer scored a lay-up attacking the basket from the left after Grainne Dwyer found her from the deck. Serbia equalised just 40 seconds later but you could see Ireland were playing with more confidence. O’Dwyer hit a nice elbow jumper but again Serbia had an answer. Claire Rockall stepped up and finished off a great spin move in the lane, Dwyer also had a lay-up and with 6.45 to go it was 4 – 2 Ireland. Edel Thornton, in her first tournament representing Ireland in 3x3, found Dwyer with a beautiful lob pass to get another lay up before Serbia got some rhythm offensively and hit three baskets in a row to take their first lead of the game 5 – 6 with 5.07 to go.
O’Dwyer was not letting their lead grow as she hit a turn around baseline jumper to even things up. Defence ruled for the next couple of minutes with Serbia scoring twice inside and a Thornton runner ensuing the gap never widened beyond 1. With 3.20 to go a big Thornton 2 saw Ireland regain the lead 9 – 8. Serbia evened it up with another solid post move but with 1.37 on the clock, Dwyer hit Irelands second 2 from beyond the arc to put Ireland 11 -9 up and you felt the upset was on. O’Dwyer had a put back to increase the lead to 3 before a Rockall 2 from the top of the key iced the game with 51 seconds to go. Ireland fouled to send Serbia to the line for a free throw and it finished 14 – 10.
Coach Matt Hall “Spain have been the form team in the world this year but we were still very disappointed in our performance against them. As expected though, this group showed exactly what they can do and why they have consistently beaten some big-name teams over the past 6 years with that win over Serbia. It’s a testament to the hard work they have put in to be able to bounce back from game one and do it in a couple of hours.”
IRELAND: Claire Rockall (3), Grainne Dwyer (4), Fiona O’Dwyer (4), Edel Thornton (3)
Ireland’s opening game against second ranked Spain was always going to be a mountain to overcome and so it turned out.
The opening minute was back and forth with neither team finding rhythm but a cut to the rim for the Spanish post saw them get on the board. Spain started to capitalise on the size advantage of their posts and looked to isolate them in the paint.
At the half-way mark it was 10 – 0 and any look Ireland had was contested or rushed. The strong wind didn’t help and while Ireland started to get a little more time on their shots, they couldn’t find their range.
With just under three minutes to go Ireland got off the mark, Grainne Dwyer got fouled going to the basket and made her free throw. Fiona O’Dwyer hit Irelands only score from play with a nice baseline jumper forty seconds later.
It finished 19 – 2 to Spain.
IRELAND: Claire Rockall, Grainne Dwyer (1), Fiona O’Dwyer (1), Edel Thornton
The Ireland Senior Women's 3x3 team 2019:
Claire Rockall (Maree)
Grainne Dwyer (Fr Mathews)
Fiona O’Dwyer (Duran Maquinaria Ensino Lugo, Spain)
Edel Thornton (Committed to Trinity Meteors)
The Ireland Senior Men's 3x3 team 2019:
Colin O’Reilly (Keane's SuperValu Killorglin)
Stephen James (Templeogue)
Ryan Leonard (Tralee Warriors now Santa Fe)
Taiwo Badmus (Peixealego, Spain)