BallinEurope received a brief email from an enthusiast of Morayoninuoluwa “Mo” Soluade, currently starring for Team England in the B Division of the FIBA U16 European Championship.
“Check out Mo Soluade with a triple double tonight against the Netherlands,” the missive implored. “He is someone to watch with real potential.” Unfortunately, since video of the game is sadly lacking on the interwebs at present – c’mon, FIBA folks, learn to love your YouTube account – we’ll have to make due with a box score, which incidentally also indicates that Soluade added four steals to his line of 11-10-11.
The Netherlands game was a bit of a novelty for other reasons in addition to being Team England’s fifth consecutive win in this tournament; official national team website England Basketball notes that “Incredibly, England never took a free-throw in a game where the Dutch were called for just five fouls, but 52 percent floor shooting and a rebounding margin of 43-36 proved the difference.”
Said coach Simon Fisher in the post-game: “I have coached many international games and this performance ranks amongst the best of them, the true nature of team basketball was evident with five players in double figures and another on eight. Twenty-one assists show the unselfish nature of the players under immense pressure. We have highlighted the turnover ratio to steals and today we had 10 of each, but with the assists added it was too much for the Dutch to handle.”
In game six of pool play against Slovenia, Soluade wasn’t able to establish his dominant performance, going 4-for-11 from the floor with three steals and more turnovers (seven) than rebounds (five). However, Team England overcame in a sloppy-but-serviceable 63-58 win.
The surprise of the tournament, undefeated England has advanced to a semi-final matchup against Israel tonight, while Slovenia takes on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both winners will be promoted to division A in the category, a distinction that would have Soluade and the boys “become the first England side to reach Division A in the eight-year history of the two-tier European Championship.”
Finally, BiE can’t quit this writeup without including *some* video, so here’s Soluade playing with the England Basketball League youth team the Bucks Hornets (yes, that’s the name) throwing one down against the Northants Thunder from last season.