Ireland face Malta on Saturday in the first of their 3 upcoming games in EuroBasket Division B action.
Ireland overcame Malta last year in the first leg of the Championships after the boys in green took an early lead, as Malta had no answer to Ireland’s size and power, and they won convincingly, 51-90.
Ireland’s Giants are heading into European’s with perhaps their strongest squad ever. Cal Bowlder returns to the squad after a yearlong absence, while Conor Grace is back from scholarship in America.
Both Chris Bracey and Justen Naughton return to the team for the second straight year after having very successful seasons with their respective clubs in Europe. Naughton helped Gmunden Swans win the 2005 Austrian Basketball title for the first time while Bracey finished as the fourth top scorer of the entire Swiss league, averaging 21.6 points.
Most capped player Dan Callaghan is back in force as is former NBA player Marty Conlon. Michael Bree, Jim Moran and Jay Larranaga are all back to strengthen the Irish campaign as newcomers Lorcan Precious and Danny Mills make their debut in an Irish shirt.
And with the recent signing of Pat Burke to the Phoenix Suns, this is set to generate a huge amount of interest among Irish fans.
After having played some very tough preparation games against Turkey, Finland, Lithuania and Latvia, Coach Gerry Fitzpatrick is very confident that Ireland has what it takes to reach the playoffs for Europe’s Top 16.