Ireland’s senior team lost to Austria in the second match of the FIBA Eurobasket Qualifiers tonight in Dublin.
John Carroll had the hosts’ best score of 23 points and nine rebounds, while Taiwan Badmos had 21 points. Sean Flood impressed with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Badms opened the scoring in the first 30 seconds to give Ireland an early lead. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Austria responded with a straight five-point lead before Jordan Blunt had drawn 5-5.
Halfway through the quarter, a remarkable Carol dive faded as he saw Ireland trailing 11-9.
The highlight of the first quarter was Lorkan Murphy’s dunk after a steal, reducing the lead to 15-11.
21:11 With just two minutes left in the game, Thomas Kleppes scored three goals for Austria. Another excellent trio of Gailine Embemba and Marvin Ogunzip held Austria to a 28-11 victory.
Carol missed two of his free throws in the final minutes of the quarter, but completed a layup he recovered after the second, trailing Ireland 28-13 at the end of the quarter.
Ireland won the second quarter. Three-and-a-half minutes after the start of the quarter, Blount made a three-point jump shot, but it was cleared by Clepez soon after.
Ireland were starting to find their rhythm – Sean Flood’s 3 point jump in four and a half minutes led them to 31-19. Six minutes into the quarter, John Carroll scored three goals and a two-point jump shot, but Austria were still ten points ahead (39-29). Soon a badmouth layoff arrived, which met with a harsh response from the home crowd, who could add momentum.
Carol was in the lead to see Ireland just one point behind 40-39, and he had four more points. After all, Austria responded with two attempts by Renato Poljac 43:39.
Ireland had the last laugh of the quarter, with Brian Fitzpatrick drawing to a 43-41 draw at half-time.
Austria started the third with a big three goals from Kleifa, who showed great strength in trying to stop the game and end the game with 25 points. Sean Flood equalized with just two minutes to go in the 46-44 lead over Austria.
Austria extended their lead by 10 points to 56-46 in the middle of the quarter.
Carol went through some traffic. After that it was all Austria, with Errol Antonio Erzek scoring an 8-point individual run, including two three-point jump shots, giving Austria a huge lead of 73-50 in the final quarter.
A shot clock buzzer beat Badms’ three goals, followed by a layoff, to make it 76-58 with two minutes left in the final quarter. Badminton’s three more points put Ireland 78-63 in just six minutes.
But Austria were able to resist a comeback attempt, and one of the highlights of the Jordan Blunt’s three-point shot playoff in the final minute, Austria won 97:70.
Ireland head coach Mark Keenan admits that Austria is ranked 61st in the world, compared to Ireland’s 107th in the FIBA rankings. “Austria has shown that their rankings are much higher than ours. In Cyprus, they are a very professional team and very high level players. I’m a little disappointed, I do not think the score fully reflects our contribution to the game, at one time it was very competitive. There were two matches in the game, where they were really away from us. Now we showed a lot of character in the second quarter and gave them a good cover in the second quarter, but in the third quarter it was 30 points to 9, we did not find the baskets, as I said everything went for her. (I) am disappointed, but there are a lot of positives going forward. Ireland’s next Group A match is against Switzerland on February 24, followed by a home match against Cyprus three days later.
Taiwo Badms (21), Jordan Blount (8), John Carroll (23), Brian Fitzpatrick (4), Sean Flood (12), Kyle Hosford (0), James Gormley (0), Stephen James (0) and Lorkan Murphy. (2) Adrian O’Sullivan (0), Eoin Quigley (0) and Ciaran Rowe (0).
Bojik Vujosevich (19), Thomas Klepis (25), Guilin Embemba (10), Joss Rados (2), Renato Poljack (13), Errol Antonio Erzek (12), Daniel Johannes Koppel (0), Valentine Bauer (DN) Jacob Scott (3), Jacob Lohr (3), Marvin Ogunzip (10) and Jacob Maximilian Vonish (0).
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