Home » Swiss roll over Ireland in first home World Cup basketball qualifier

Swiss roll over Ireland in first home World Cup basketball qualifier

Swiss roll over Ireland in first home World Cup basketball qualifier

Ireland got within five points at the start of the third quarter before the Swiss pulled clear at the finish to register their second win of the qualifiers and move top of the group.

It was Ireland’s first FIBA Basketball World Cup home game and the first points of the contest came courtesy of a pair of Jordan Blount free throws. The Swiss moved in front following an Anthony Polite three, to go 5-2 up, and they would lead the contest throughout after that.

Ireland captain Seán Flood’s three and a fastbreak and lay-up from Lorcan Murphy had Ireland trailing 9-7 just before the midpoint.

Flood landed his second from three-point line with a little over two and a half minutes to go and Ireland were 16-12 behind at that stage. Flood continued his bright start with a threaded pass to find Matt Treacy inside and his hook shot had Ireland 20-14 down. The final points of the quarter came from Natan Jurkovitz’s lay-up, and the Swiss led 22-14.

In the second quarter, Neil Randolph had a pair of baskets from the three-point line to cut the deficit to four points (25-21) two minutes in.

But the Swiss responded with a nine-point run – Boris Mbala’s three among their scores – to put them 34-21 ahead.

A Jordan Blount lay-up and Flood’s third from the three-point line cut the gap to nine (36-27) with just over three minutes to go in the quarter, but Switzerland would lead 41-29 by half-time.

Taiwo Badmus didn’t reappear for the second half due to concussion – a loss for Ireland – but two more baskets from the three-point line by Flood, either side of Paul Dick’s lay-up, saw them just five behind, 42-37, four minutes in.

However, within two minutes, Switzerland had restored their 12-point advantage, helped by corner threes from Mbala and Noah Burrell, to lead 52-40. They’d hold a 63-43 lead by the end of the quarter.

A Conor Quinn three kickstarted the fourth for Ireland, but the Swiss offence continued to pick up points. Ireland finished strongly, but it was Switzerland who’d emerge as victors.

Speaking afterwards Ireland head coach Mark Keenan said: “Disappointing, we were in the game in the first half, but it just got away from us in the third quarter in the space of a two or three minutes.

“They didn’t shoot the ball great from the three-point line in the first half, but jeez they came out gunning in the second half, so every little slip up and rotation we lost on defence we were buried with a three it felt like. The lads battled ’til the end, but still very disappointing, especially after a good showing in Kosovo, so just got a little bit flat today.”

Ireland’s next FIBA Basketball World Cup 2027 European qualifiers are in November, with two home games against Azerbaijan on November 21st, followed by the visit of Kosovo three days later to the National Basketball Arena.

Quarter Scores:

Q1: 14-22, Q2: 15-19 Q3: 14-22, Q4: 20-23

Game Scores:

Q1: 14-22, Q2: 29-41, Q3: 43-63, Q4: 63-86

Ireland: Adrian O’Sullivan (0), Lorcan Murphy (6), Neil Randolph (6), Sean Flood (15), Conor Quinn (3), Jordan Blount (12), Rapolas Buivydas (5), James Gormley (0), Taiwo Badmus (1), Matt Treacy (8), Keelan Cairns (0), Paul Dick (7)

Switzerland: Killian Martin (14), Michel-Ofik Nzeg (2), Anthony Polite (13), Yuri Solca (1), Robert Zinn (0), Noe Anabir (15), Noah Burrell (9), Selim Fofana (9), Yoan Granvorka (3), Boris Mbala (8), Robert Zinn (), Laurent Zoccoletti (2). Natan Jurkovitz (10)