Ireland senior men’s 3x3 team just missed out on a place in September’s FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup finals, after an agonising 20-16 defeat to Azerbaijan in the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup Qualifier final in Limassol, Cyprus. Ireland’s senior women also put in an impressive performance, defeated 21-10 in the semi-finals by Luxembourg.
Ireland’s senior men topped their group, thanks to two wins on Saturday, a 21-10 over Albania and 21-13 against Kosovo. Those victories for Colin O’Reilly’s side meant that Ireland advanced to Sunday’s semi-finals, where they overcame tournament hosts, Cyprus, 21-13. The Irish team, comprising of John Carroll, Jordan Blount, Sean Flood and Cian Heaphy, once again performed brilliantly in the final, but were edged by four points in the decider against Azerbaijan.
Ireland senior men’s 3x3 head coach, Colin O’Reilly, said: “Fantastic performance by the lads. They grew into the 3x3 style of play over the two days and were within a couple of made shots away from winning the tournament. With a long-term view, it was great to see such commitment from four players that were heavily involved in the senior teams’ success and help grow Ireland’s 3x3 presence in Europe.”
Ireland senior women’s 3x3 team, of Gráinne Dwyer, Fiona O’Dwyer, Enya Maguire and Lynn Tunnah, also finished first in their group, defeating Kosovo 16-13 and losing narrowly to Andorra, 15-13, on Saturday. It meant that Paul Kelleher’s side went directly to Sunday’s semi-finals, where they couldn’t get past Luxembourg.
Ireland senior women’s 3x3 head coach, Paul Kelleher, added: “The team performed well over the games played. Starting well by beating Kosovo, it all came down to a few details here and there at this level. There is a different skill set required for 3x3 and the team showed they understand what that is. There is a lot there to build on for future campaigns.”