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Basketball: Landmark win for Irish
18 Jul 2015 20:08
Ireland Men's Premier League Select 70-69 Russia
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The Irish Men's Premier League Select pulled off a landmark win by beating Russia by a single point at the Sino-European Championships in Kunshan, China today.
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Roy Downey and Kyle Hosford set the tone in the opening quarter with aggressive drives to the basket.
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Paul Dick had seven of his side's first 12 points but the renewed vigour didn't help with accuracy and Russia led 22-19 for the first quarter.
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Colin O’Reilly continued to rotate the bench but there was sloppiness creeping into the MPL Select’s play.
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Russia were punishing in transition, creating mismatches and converting layups. Without a run of scores or consecutive scores, the gap was pushed out to 35-31 at the break, leaving Ireland well in the game.
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Russia offered a strong threat in the final two quarters but Ireland managed to get in front and held on for a win by a single point, bringing about jubilant scenes at the buzzer.
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“It’s going to be tight and you have to believe in what you do,” said head coach Colin O’Reilly. “That’s what happens in basketball. These are the best players in our country and we stuck at it.”
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“We didn’t go away from our strengths and we stuck to our guns.
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“Our defence was good again tonight but we knocked down shots and executed down the stretch and that was the big difference.”
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Men's Premier League Select: Roy Downey (6), Paul Dick (20), Ciaran O'Sullivan, Conor Grace (4), Martins Provisors (12)
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Substitutes: Niall O'Reilly, Shane Coughlan (3), Conor Meaney, Dan James (15), Keelan Cairns, Kevin Lacey, Kyle Hosford (10)
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