It was a strong start from Ireland, John Carroll signalled the team’s intent with a little over three minutes gone with a dunk for a 8-0 lead.
The opening quarter saw CJ Fulton and Jason Killeen register their first points of the tournament. Will Hanley had his eye in, a three pointer in the final 30 seconds brought his first quarter tally to 10. A buzzer beater layup from Ciaran Roe made it 34-9 at the end of the quarter. Ireland’s defence only gave up one field goal all quarter, a stat which pleased head coach Mark Keenan, who hailed his team’s “intensity” from the start.
It was more of the same in the same in the second quarter, a three-point jump shot by CJ Fulton midway through saw Ireland 46-16 up and by the half-time they led by 37 points, 59-22.
San Marino were much improved after the break and outscored Ireland by 23-21 in the third quarter, Ygor Biordi with seven points in the period. Ireland finished the quarter with a lovely three point jump shot from the corner by Eoin Quigley to make it 80-45.
Ireland brought up the 100 in style on the break, captain Killeen with a dunk with just over three minutes remaining, to lead 100-59. It was followed by two lovely three pointers in quick succession from Neil Randolph and Sean Flood. A Randolph free throw at the death rounded out a 107-59 win.
Killeen breaks 100 points for Ireland with the dunk 💯💯💯 #FIBASmallCountries pic.twitter.com/xVbzSzYA3X— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) August 12, 2021
Speaking afterwards head coach Mark Keenan said:
“I think the most pleasing was the manner in which we started the game. We talk about getting off to a good start, it generally doesn’t necessarily have to mean that we’re way ahead in the scoreboard, it’s just in the manner that we play. We came out with the right mentality and the right manner at the start of the game and then it was a great bonus to put the numbers up on the board. So the way we started, the intensity and the intent I thought was fantastic.”
Ireland head coach Mark Keenan gives us his take following Ireland's comprehensive victory in the 2nd round of the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries 🙌🇮🇪 #FIBASmallCountries pic.twitter.com/L2I9VhGVCN— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) August 12, 2021
We caught Sean Flood after today's game, where he added 15 points to Ireland's tally:
" ....today's performance was a step in the right direction, and if we can string together another few performances like that and push on from there we'll be in a position to compete."
We caught Sean Flood after today's game, where he added 15 points to Ireland's tally 🎙️☘️ #FIBASmallCountries pic.twitter.com/PTr2UJKXoH— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) August 12, 2021
There is a tournament rest day on Friday. Ireland resume with a game against Gibraltar at 7pm on Saturday, concluding against Malta on Sunday, which also tips off at 7pm.
Quarter score - Q1: 34-9, Q2: 25-13, Q3: 21-23, Q4: 27-14
Ireland: CJ Fulton (9), Ciaran Roe (4), Kyle Hosford (4), Sean Flood (15), Lorcan Murphy (10), Neil Randolph (7), Adrian O’Sullivan (2), Jordan Blount (8), Eoin Quigley (9), Will Hanley (15), John Carroll (14), Jason Killeen (10).
San Marino: Ygor Biordi (15), Lorenzo Liberti (7), Gioele Moretti (10), Francesco Palmieri (6), Giacomo Pasolini (8), Federico Bombini (0), Tommaso Felici (4), Lorenzo Lettoli (DNP), Davide Macina (9), Marko Micevic (DNP), Alessandro Edoardo Renzi (DNP), Leonardo Liberti (7).