Emporioum Cork Basketball 85
Flexachem Killorglin 81
Emporium Cork Basketball had to withstand a late Flexachem Killorglin rally before securing maximum points in the Men’s Super League at the Ballincollig Community School on Monday.
In a game where the Kerry side threatened to cause a major shock the Ballincollig sided to their credit held their nerve and just about deserved their win.
The game started with both sides playing high tempo basketball with a brace of Adrian O’Sullivan free throws and a John Dawson three pointer giving the home side the perfect start.
Player coach Ciaran O’Sullivan followed with a monstrous shot outside the paint and when he registered a second in the fifth minute it surged his team into a 11-3 lead.
The overall standard of basketball was poor from both sides with poor shooting and passing options but Ballincollig always looked to be doing enough and deservedly commanded a six point lead (22-16) entering the second quarter.
Both sides traded two baskets apiece in the opening two minutes on the restart with John Dawson executing key baskets Ballincollig remained in control.
There was a little niggle on court between various players that resulted in a couple of technical fouls but the crowd were still waiting for the game to ignite with 3.27 remaining to the interval with Ballincollig having a 12 point cushion.
Amazingly, Ballincollig went into meltdown and the deficit was reduced to three points but it took a late Dawson bank shot to ensure they went in at the break leading 40-37.
On the restart Ballincollig played their best basketball of the game and inspired by the energetic Adrian O’Sullivan they raced into an 12 point lead.
To be fair at no stage did Ballincollig look likely to lose this game as they always had the artistry to produce key baskets.
In fairness the Killorglin professional duo of Pharroh Gordon and Robert Alan-Kelly they continued to nail crucial baskets and just when it looked they had reduced the deficit to six points Dawson produced a stunning three pointer that gave them a 67-58 lead entering the crucial final quarter.
The tension was at fever pitch coming down the stretch and when Aleix Tarredalas nailed two free throws with 2.10 remaining the Kerry outfit led for the first time.
When the Ballincollig side needed leadership and calmness Dylan Corkery in defence and Adrian O’Sullivan nailed crucial baskets that just about got them over the line.
Emporium Cork Basketball will be happy with the win and getting a game under the recently injured Spanish star Jose Jimenez Gonzalez and they can now prepare for their crucial National Cup semi-final next weekend against Eanna.
Scorers for Emporium Cork Basketball: J Dawson 27, A O’Sullivan 16, J Jimenez Gonzalez 14.
Flexachem Killorglin: P Gordon 26, R Kelly 26, D Wall 12.
Emporium Cork Basketball: C O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan, A O’Sullivan, K Cairns, D Corkery, H Murphy, A O’Connor, J Dawson, S O’Flynn, P Cami Gallera, C Blount, L O’Sullivan, J Imenez Gonzalez.
Killorglin: R Fitzpatrick, A Tarradellas, P Gordon, D Wall, C Murphy, S O’Connell, J Tyther, R Alan-Kelly Jnr, E Evans, L Croke, J Griffith, A Skaislauks.
Referees: J Dooley (Portlaoise), M Nazami (Mullingar), G Daly (Cork).
In the Women’s Super League The Address UCC Glanmire maintained their position at the summit with a 91-80 win over Killester at Clontarf on Monday.
Glanmire led 46-43 at the break but inspired by American Khiarica Rasheed they outscored their opponents 23-12 in the third quarter that laid the foundation for their win.
Scorers for The Address UCC Glanmire: K Rasheed 24, B Byrd 18, M Furlong 13.
Killester: C Latimer 27, C Williams I Bagdanaviciene 9.