Team Ireland basketball captain Suzanne Maguire says her squad’s mindset has evolved since arriving at the Baku 2015 European Games.The four-player squad touched down in the Azeri capital early on Friday morning and Maguire believes they have ‘gotten over’ the settling-in phase and being taken in by the atmosphere at the games.
“We’re here as one of the top 16 teams in Europe and we’re here to compete,” said the Dubliner. “The girls are buying into it and we have an opportunity to do something. It may even be the best opportunity we get as the sport itself continues to evolve.”
Ireland have been drawn in a difficult group in the 3×3 basketball competition with Spain, Slovenia and Slovakia – up to 75% of the 128 athletes competing in the 3×3 competition are estimated to be professional. Orla O’Reilly is based full-time with Bembibre in the Spanish league.
She says, “Our game plan is to be quicker and to spread the floor so we can get our shots and a couple of drives to the basket. I’m our tallest player and I’m only 6’1’’ so it’s not our strategy to play with big girls inside. For 3×3 it’s about having three players who can do it all. “
Team Ireland get their Group C campaign underway on Court Two against Slovenia at 15:30 GMT. TV scheduling is yet to be confirmed for 3×3 basketball. Basketball Ireland will have live updates via Twitter as well as recaps and reaction after every game.