Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
# Disappointment
Ireland beaten by Austria in FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifier
John Carroll impressed as he registered 23 points.

IRELAND SUFFERED a disappointing 97-70 defeat by Austria in today’s FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Round 1 game.

John Carroll led the way for Ireland on 23 points and also had nine rebounds, while Taiwo Badmus registered 21 points. Sean Flood, meanwhile, managed 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Ireland were down 28-13 after the first quarter, but reduced the deficit significantly and were only two points behind (41-43) at the end of the second.

Yet the Austrians began to pull away again thereafter, and were 73-50 ahead by the end of the third quarter, paving the way for what was ultimately a comfortable win.

Austria are ranked 61st in the world, well ahead of 107th-place Ireland, and the latter’s head coach  Mark Keenan pointed to this difference after the encounter.

“Austria showed that their rankings are a lot higher than ourselves and Cyprus, they’re a very professional outfit, really high calibre players,” he said.

“I’m a bit disappointed, I don’t think the scoreline fully reflects how we contributed to the game, it was very competitive for a stage. There were two spurts in the game where they kind of really got away from us.

“Now we showed great character in the second quarter and we gave them a good hiding in the second quarter to be right back in it at half-time, but third quarter, I think it was 30 points to 9, we just couldn’t find the baskets, and as I said everything was going in for them. So look, (I’m) disappointed, but there’s lots of positives to take going forward.” 

Ireland will have to wait until 24 February for their next Group A game away against Switzerland, before hosting Cyprus three days later.

“We won’t get the team back together probably until then, but look we can review a lot of tape and feed things to the players, where we think we can obviously improve on, and then areas where we have done really well that we want to keep motoring on,” Keenan added.

“So yeah, look we’ll take stock of everything, and we’ll try and get our house in order now for February in window two.” 

Top 5 scorers:

Ireland – John Carroll (23), Taiwo Badmus (21), Sean Flood (12), Jordan Blount (8), Brian Fitzpatrick (4)

Austria - Thomas Klepeisz (25), Bogic Vujosevic (19), Renato Poljak (13), Erol Antonio Ersek (12), Guylain Mbemba and Marvin Ogunsipe (both 10)

Ireland - Taiwo Badmus (21), Jordan Blount (8), John Carroll (23), Brian Fitzpatrick (4), Sean Flood (12), Kyle Hosford (0), James Gormley (0), Stephen James (0), Lorcan Murphy (2) Adrian O’Sullivan (0), Eoin Quigley (0), Ciaran Roe (0).

Austria – Bogic Vujosevic (19), Thomas Klepeisz (25), Guylain Mbemba (10), Jozo Rados (2), Renato Poljak (13), Erol Antonio Ersek (12), Daniel Johannes Köppel (0), Valentin Bauer (DNP), Jakob Szkutta (3), Jakob Lohr (3), Marvin Ogunsipe (10), Jakob Maximillian Wonisch (0).

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