An understrength Neptune lose to a powerful Maree side in the Super League

The Blackpool side were missing Americans Jordan Evans (reported Covid) and Kionn Scott (travel problems from the USA) and on top of this Jordan Blount pulled a back muscle in the warm up.
An understrength Neptune lose to a powerful Maree side in the Super League

Energywise Ireland Neptune's . Head Coach Colin O'Reilly speaking to his team during a timeout at the recent Mens Super League basketball match against NUIG Maree in Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Energywise Ireland Neptune 69 

NUIG Maree 92 

IN the end the understrength Energywise Ireland Neptune could not withstand the power of Men’s Super League leaders NUIG Maree who cruised to an emphatic win at the Neptune Stadium on Friday night.

The Blackpool side were missing Americans Jordan Evans (reported Covid) and Kionn Scott (travel problems from the USA) and on top of this Jordan Blount pulled a back muscle in the warm up.

On top of this captain Roy Downey was ill coming up to the game, Adam Heaphy had an ankle injury that made it an uncomfortable evening for the home side.

In the opening quarter Nil Sabata looked back to his best with an 11-point contribution but with Stephen Commins showing his shooting skills outside the arc the sides were level midway through this period.

Energywise Ireland Neptune's Nil Sabata goes for a basket during the Mens Super league match against NUIG Maree in Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Energywise Ireland Neptune's Nil Sabata goes for a basket during the Mens Super league match against NUIG Maree in Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy

In the closing minutes Neptune played solid basketball but with Jarlaith Haines shooting well for the westerners it was no surprise they reduced the deficit to three points 23-20 entering the second quarter.

On the restart both teams went for the jugular but with the Neptune captain Roy Downey resurrecting from the bench the home side managed to lead by four points with two minutes remaining to the interval.

Credit to Maree they showed true grit in the closing minutes as consecutive three pointers from Rodrigo Gomez ensured they led 48-44 at the break.

The trend of the game didn’t change on the restart as Maree basically nailed every look they were given at the basket.

Neptune who have looked thin off the bench all season were exposed in this period as Commins with the help of point guard Eoin Rockall controlled the game.

In the closing minutes Neptune struggled for baskets and entering the fourth quarter the Galway side had increased their lead to 13 points.

Coming down the stretch Maree stayed in control as Neptune’s resolve had finally succumbed to a better-balanced side.

NUIG Maree will return to Cork next weekend for a clash against Bright St Vincent’s and unless they go into a complete a first ever final at this level beckons for the Galway side.

Energywise Ireland Neptune's Roy Downey break through the NUIG Maree lines during the recent Mens Super League basketball match in Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Energywise Ireland Neptune's Roy Downey break through the NUIG Maree lines during the recent Mens Super League basketball match in Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Troubling times indeed for the Neptune coach Colin O’Reilly as this was their fifth defeat in their last seven league games for a side that were being touted as the ‘Dream Team’ prior to the season commencing.

Scorers for Energywise Ireland Neptune: N Sabata 13, X Arriaga 12, K O’Donoghue 11.

NUIG Maree: R Gomez 24, J Haines 19, Z Cutuk 18.

Energy Wise Neptune: G Walsh, K O’Donoghue, R Downey, C Heaphy, A Heaphy, J Evans, X Arriaga, N Sabata, J Blount, C Leahy, K Garcia, K Scott.

NUIG Maree: C Finn, C McCormack, S Commins, E Rockall, B Burke, Z Light, M Sweeney, R Gomez, J Haines, M Thiam, Z Cutuk, P Freeman.

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