Ballincollig basketballers push past Templeogue into Super League semis

Next up for Kieran O'Sullivan's side is a derby showdown with rivals Neptune
Ballincollig basketballers push past Templeogue into Super League semis

Pau Cami Galera, Ballincollig, battles Kris Arcilla, Templeogue. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 85 Griffith College Templeogue 79 

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig had to call on all their experience to see off Griffith College Templeogue in the Men’s Super League quarter-final at Ballincollig Community School on Saturday.

The underdogs from Dublin tested the Southern Conference winners for over three-quarters of this fascinating clash but some excellent Collig defending in the fourth quarter paved the way for the home win. It sets up a huge semi-final with Cork rivals Neptune, who beat Killester away, next Saturday.

There were plenty of heroes with American Andre Nation leading the scoring along with Irish international Adrian O’Sullivan, who was once again resilient when the game hung in the balance.

For the Ballincollig head coach Kieran O’Sullivan it was a day that getting the right result was all that really mattered, especially after losing just once in the regular season.

“Look the bottom line is that we know there is more in us but a play-off game brought some tension into our game but when it really mattered I thought we showed great maturity, particularly at the start of the fourth quarter.” 

The opening quarter was a game of chess with both teams playing stringent defence. On the other side of the coin, there was some serious three-point shooting, the teams sharing a total of six.

Credit to Ballincollig they looked sharper for longer periods and with Andre Nation superb in the offence court they commanded a four-point lead midway through this period. Milorad Sedlarevic was also in terrific shooting form and when he nailed consecutive threes the hosts led 21-13.

 Milorad Sedlarevic, Ballincollig, rises high from Jason Killeen, Templeogue. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Milorad Sedlarevic, Ballincollig, rises high from Jason Killeen, Templeogue. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Lorcan Murphy was doing his best to keep the visitors within striking distance but they trailed 23-16 entering the second period.

The trend of the game didn’t change on the restart but on each occasion, Templeogue threatened to take control Nation and O’Sullivan came up with the key baskets.

When coach Mark Keenan looks back on a disappointing campaign, he will surely rue the signing of American Darren Townes who struggled throughout. The former Neptune player paled in comparison to Nation.

Leading 42-37 at the break Ballincollig were punished in the early exchanges of the third quarter as their scoring rate slowed and they were guilty of some sloppy turnovers. With two minutes remaining in this period, they trailed by the minimum.

The home side to their credit battled back to lead 59-57 heading into the fourth and consecutive three-pointers from the O’Sullivan brothers Adrian and Ciaran had the home crowd in rapture. They went on a 14-0 run, including an 'and-one' drive from Adrian, to take control again.

 Adrian O'Sullivan, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, moves to the basket against Lorcan Murphy, Templeogue, in the Super League quarter-final on Saturday. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Adrian O'Sullivan, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, moves to the basket against Lorcan Murphy, Templeogue, in the Super League quarter-final on Saturday. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Coming down the stretch homegrown ace Dylan Corkery got key rebounds and played some incredible defence that ensured a home Cork derby play-off semi-final against Neptune on Saturday.

Top scorers for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: A Nation 25, A O’Sullivan 19, M Sedlarevic 17.

Griffith College Templeogue: L Murphy 28, P Summers 12, E Melini 10, J Killeen 10.

Referees: D Caballe (Athlone), G Daly (Cork), L Ahern (Limerick).

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