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He loves basketball ever since Sasa's three points to Croats: Irish journalist is a hot topic in Istanbul (VIDEO)

- I was 16 back then, and I went crazy, like: who is this guy - said Emmet Ryan, the reporter from Eurobasket

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The first associations to Ireland? Red hair, clovers, good beer. You can make the list, but we are sure that basketball won't be in the first 100 places. 

Spectacle in Athens: Ivkovic finished his career with honors

That is why it amazed us that we found an Irish man among the journalists on Eurobasket.

He is Ryan Emmet (36). You might be following him on Youtube and Twitter, under the name of "Ball in Europe" (Check out Ball in Europe (@bie_basketball)

He watched every match of D group, and we soon saw that he is a sports fanatic who loves basketball. And all thanks to Serbia, more precisely, to Aleksandar Djordjevic.

  • What do you think about the competition?

- It's fun. Turks sometimes look great, sometimes horrible, and there were a lot of strange matches, every game of Turkey was unpredictable. In the case of Latvia, we have seen great things from Porzingis and Davis Bertans. They have a long bench, and we saw that Kristaps is much better on "four", instead of "five". He showed that he is much better there. Unlike Marjanovic, Mozgov and other stronger lads. He is very dangerous.

  • What do you think about the Serbian team, can you analyze a bit?

- They are getting better and better. They played very confidently against Latvia, but Teodosic, Bjelica and Jokic were missing in creative actions against Russia, even Turkey. They got a lot from Bogdanovic but, they need more. As Djordjevic said a few days ago in the conference: the defense is working in Serbian game, but the problem is the shooting phase. And currently, there are not many shooters, besides Bobi, and you can't count on him who can only score when he is under the basket. Only Bogdan has the shoot. And that is a great problem if you are going for a medal.

  • Who would be the X-factor in that case in Serbian team?

- There are few guys, it is obvious that Stefan Jovic improved in that field, Vladimir Lucic also showed a few games, even though he is not the "top tier" player, I have seen the matches where he is just not that. He could work in the knockout phase. I know that Milan Macvan in the national team is not like Macvan in the club team. He brings a lot more to Serbia from the bench than any other club. If he could be the one in some uncertain game, he could be the key factor.

  • Did you start watching basketball after 1997, right after the game of Yugoslavia - Croatia?

- That was the first game I casually watched on "Eurosport". Croats are hitting those three free throws, and I thought that Yugoslavia is in trouble now. And then Djordjevic, with that three pints. I was 16 years old then, and I went insane, like: Who was that guy?! I would entrust him to catch a baby thrown from a building on fire if you can put it like that. I just had to watch every game of Yugoslavia till the end of the competition, and for me, European championship became the way of watching.

- It wasn't easy to watch because of the channels, and because the basketball wasn't popular, but I managed it. It's much easier today, there are so many European leagues that can be watched in Ireland. We could only watch the highlights from NBA and local games. It's not so bad now, we have an explosion of leagues we watch online: ABA, Euroleague, ACB, Turkish, Greek... that is soo cool. If you watch Bundesleague, you can watch it for free on a computer, and its five euros per month if you wanna watch it over the phone, in HD quality. And that is cheap, I pay beer more in pubs in Dublin. Which only tells you how expensive Dublin is. It's good when you can watch so many leagues because you in Serbia don't watch how they play in Spain or Turkey. I could see how great Sasa's style is.

  • Who wins the medals on Eurobasket?

- Medals, huh. Gold to Spain, yes. The rest is hard to tell, depends on the pairs. And Croats, we will see them against Russia, that is a different challenge. They are the candidates for the medal, but first, they have to play well, and they, like the rest, want to avoid Spain. Serbia is definitely a candidate for the medal, and they are an even bigger candidate from the first place since they will avoid Spain a little longer. Slovenia reached from a silent candidate to the real one, at least in my opinion. You can never be sure in the knockout phase, you can't relly on Lithuania in the knockout phase, will they lose early, who knows what will happen to them? I think that Russia, Serbia, and Latvia are capable of winning the medal. But Slovenia is playing a very good basketball, you can see it on Dragic that he really really wants it. It is very important for your team to have a motivated player like that.

Telegraf/Motorola Moto Z play

  • Who are you going to cheer for?

- Oh no, no, no... I am cheering for players, not for teams. "Ballin Europe" cheers only when Ireland is playing. I just want to see the uncertain matched in the future. I am very happy for what is happening with Hungary and Ukraine. Hungary needs the final 16 so much. Adam Hanga is great this summer. Ukraine the same, many have said that they are 23rd or 24th in this championship, and they got to the second phase. I am really glad for what they did on the competition.

  • And for the end, a football question.

- Oh, no.

Foto: Tanjug/AP

Foto: Tanjug/AP

  • Before the game Ireland - Serbia, you told that we will watch 80 minutes of boredom. But...

- It wasn't boring, Ireland came out to play, and we didn't get the score. We definitely played against Serbia in the first half, which was a pleasant surprise. The unpleasant surprise was Serbia winning with 1:0. It will be very difficult now. It is hard to score a goal to the team who has a player like Nemanja Matic, but we managed to deal with the players of world class. Now we are going to Wales, we have to win them, and they have Gareth Bale. That is a huge challenge. I will be on that game with my friends, we booked the tickets a year ago. But then again, i will have higher hopes than expectations, as we do say in Ireland.

(Telegraf reporters from Istanbul: Bojana Mekic and Dragutin Stojmenovic)

(Telegraf.co.uk)

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