England U16s Return From Italy, Finish 13th - Hoopsfix.com

England U16s Return From Italy, Finish 13th

England Basketball Under 16s 1995 born
England U16s (see roster here) returned from Italy on Tuesday, having finished 13th (out of 17 teams) at the 7th annual U17 Memoria Graziano Barila Basketball Tournament.

The U16s went 3-4 over the Easter holiday tournament, with three of their losses being by 3 points or less.

Head Coach Simon Fisher said:

“The squad learnt some harsh lessons about International basketball over the seven days, experiencing highs and lows along the journey, but most importantly learning the lessons for the future challenges ahead. The tournament was superb, in my experience it is probably one of the best preparation tournaments I have been to. I have been involved in international tournaments with other National teams which were excellent, but for developing the education of the players on and off the court this tournament was the best simulation of summer European competition I have seen. The standard of the teams, the organisational aspects and the attention to detail were condusive to a high quality learning environment. It was a pleasure for all of the England staff to be involved.”

Commenting on the tough losses and standard of competition, Fisher added:

“The players have responded excellently in all ways in Varese. The games were tough for us all, taking some hard knocks along the way, but to respond both in results and performance is a credit to this group of players. The Italian U17 club teams were all very good. I believe the extra competition has inspired us all to improve, as players, coaches but most importantly as a team. The players were successful in getting many compliments from the basketball scouts, coaches and spectators – with strong possibilities of a return invite for future years.”

The tournament is used as part of the team’s preparation for the Division B U16 European Championships in Sturmica, Macedonia this summer and will have helped Fisher with player selections for the final cut.

Full Results

Written by Simon Fisher, as they appear on England Basketball’s official writeup.
*To be updated with leading scorers.

Varese 52-51 England: England started the tournament against the host team in a classic match-up. The game was always close, with the local spectators (around 300) creating an atmosphere that was inspiring the local players. England had a 5 point advantage with 5 minutes to play, but a Varese surge coupled with England conceding too many turnovers (19 travels in the game) meant England were down four with 30 seconds to play. Back to back threes from Sam Round and Tyrell Isaacs led to England being one up with three seconds to play. An unsportmanlike foul on the out of bounds gave the local captain a chance to win the game – which he duly took.

Irte Busto 63-84 England: England responded well from the night before. After a slow start, England’s defence managed to control the penetration game of the Italians. Offensively the team started to develop a balanced attack, with the inside presence of Kingsley Okoroh & Luke Attfield causing problems.

Virtus Siena 70-58 England: England fought hard against the highly rated Italians, defensively causing them problems with their intensity. The extra quality of the Italian national team U18 players in the Virtus team kept them in front, however England did stay within 6 points for the first 3 quarters. The last quarter was an excellent lesson from Siena in controlling the tempo and ensuring the game suited them – taking the shots that they wanted. England had opportunities to make a surge, but they could never take full advantage.

Robur de Fires 81-79 England: England suffered heartbreak after a running buzzer-beater condemed them to the middle eight play-offs (best possible position 9th). England had played positive basketball breaking the locals’ zone, through good ball movement and shooting, however the local fans again helped the Varese based club to respond to create another close finish. A series of tough calls left England ruing the missed opportunities as the last second score created uproar in the stadium.

Torino 51-49 England: were defensively excellent in this low scoring affair, but their poor shooting percentage kept the game close. England again led for most of the game, but could never shake off a persistent and well drilled Torino outfit. The final quarter see-sawed with the lead changing a few times before Torino made a couple of key scores to close out the game. England had their chances, but shooting less than 50% from the free-throw line was a key statistic in the outcome in this low scoring game.

Pesaro 48-74 England: England were desperate to prove that their basketball deserved greater results. With this in mind England had renewed vigour on Kingsley Okoroh’s 16th birthday. Kingsley lead from the front dominating the glass and was the key in a 31-9 first quarter that set the tone. England finally ‘clicked’ at both ends of the floor, turning defence into offence, and showing signs of players starting to read the defences and each other. The players then kept the opposition at bay to restore some confidence with a deserved win.

Gorgonzola 55-87 England: The final game of the tournament for the English was against the team from Milan. England showed the confidence had carried over from the day before. Even though both teams were tired, the standard of play was good, with the focus on decsion making when the body & mind are tired. The team ethic of the England team was shown as the depth of the squad allowed me to keep relatively fresh players on the court, to wear down the Gorgonzola players.

Thoughts? Drop a comment and let us know!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *