Colin O’Reilly looked to put the result in context. “We have a generation of players who haven’t played international basketball,” he said.
Injury meant O’Reilly was a late withdrawal from the starting line up. “This entire project is about giving guys access to this level and there’s an average age of 23. It’s a baptism of fire, but players can look themselves in the mirror and see where they have to improve.”
The first quarter was a multi-national shootout as players from the US, Iceland, Belgium and Cuba poured in 28 points. Nymburk were patient, missing just three shots in the first half from two-point range and relentless on defence. Hibernia were forced into 16 turnovers in the first half.
Still they fought on. Lehmon Colbert was having his best game in a Hibernia uniform and Roy Downey drove hard at any opening. Luke Thompson was shooting well from the free-throw line despite the best efforts of a four-piece brass band and a drum-wielding fan club. Conor Grace and Ciaran O’Sullivan stroked home early three pointers. Nymburk led 59-30 at half time.
Ronen Ginzburg was coming up against an Irish team for the first time in a 40-year career. “Welcome to Euro-basketball,” said Nymburk’s head coach. “We were playing a young team without their best player. We just had to apply pressure.”
Martins Provizors and Kevin Lacey return for next week’s home game against Bakken Bears while O’Reilly has left the door open for other players to join the squad.
Michael Dixon (15), Vojtech Hruban (0), Julian Vaughn (17), Maxime De Zeeuw (5), Howard Sant-Roos (2). Substitutes: Petr Benda (2), Chasson Randle (22), Pavel Houska (8), Hordur Vilhjalmsson (5), Martin Peterka (15), Matej Svobodo (9), Martin Kriz (6).
Kyle Hosford (4), Roy Downey (8), Luke Thompson (3) Conor Grace (10), Lehmon Colbert (13). Substitutes: Adrian O’Sullivan, Ciaran O’Sullivan (4), Keelan Cairns, Patrick Lyons (3), Dylan Cunningham, Ronan O’Sullivan.