Emporium Cork Basketball turn on the style at new MTU Arena to secure playoff spot

Huge crowd cheered on the Ballincollig side who now head to Eanna for the Super League quarter-finals
Emporium Cork Basketball turn on the style at new MTU Arena to secure playoff spot

Adrian O'Sullivan eyes the basket as he rises to score for Emporium Cork Basketball in action in the new arena at MTU. Picture: Larry Cummins

Emporium Cork Basketball 86 Bright St Vincent’s 56 

Emporium Cork Basketball completed their regular season in the Men’s Super League on a winning note when easily disposing of Bright St Vincent’s at the MTU on Saturday.

After playing the entire season at Ballincollig Community School this was their first time playing at this state-of-the-art facility and the large attendance certainly enjoyed some quality basketball. Now they take on Eanna away in the quarter-finals in Dublin next weekend.

Ronan O’Sullivan blessed the MTU Arena with the first basket in the first national championship game played at this magnificent venue only to be substituted a minute later when getting punished with a technical foul.

Ronan O'Sullivan scores in the first home game for Emporium Cork Basketball in the new arena at MTU. Pic: Larry Cummins
Ronan O'Sullivan scores in the first home game for Emporium Cork Basketball in the new arena at MTU. Pic: Larry Cummins

Ballincollig looked energetic in their home base and further baskets from Adrian O’Sullivan and John Dawson (3) gave them a seven-point lead.

The Dublin side looked to be struggling to break down the stringent Ballincollig and when Keelan Cairns nailed a monstrous three in the fourth minute they trailed 12-3.

There is little doubt Ballincollig looked up for battle in the opening quarter as they surged into a 13-point lead with three minutes remaining in this period.

Leading 27-13 entering the second quarter the Ballincollig defence was superb in the opening 10 minutes as their excellent shooting continued with Adrian O’Sullivan nailing a three that extended their lead to 15 points.

Some of Vincent’s defending was poor as they allowed Ballincollig far too much space and clear looks that saw the home side looking comfortable with a 16-point lead midway through the quarter.

The Ballincollig player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan could afford to use fringe players like Luke O’Sullivan, Sean O’Flynn and Colm Blount and all acquitted themselves well in this period while Jamie Cotter came on late and hit two free throws.

Rookie Luke O'Sullivan in action. Picture: Larry Cummins
Rookie Luke O'Sullivan in action. Picture: Larry Cummins

In the closing minutes, Ballincollig took their foot off the gas but at the interval, they still looked comfortable when up 49-33.

On the restart, Ballincollig continued to play quality basketball and the manner they shared the ball was excellent and the end result was quality baskets that saw them extend their lead to 24 points with 2.10 remaining in this period.

St Vincent’s are one of the oldest clubs in Irish basketball but many of their former members seem to have departed the scene maybe taking up other roles within the club.

It was fitting that Dawson would finish with a buzzer-beating three as this game was now firmly in the grasp of Ballincollig when they still commanded a 70-47 lead.

Coming down the stretch coach O’Sullivan could afford to replace key players but it made little difference as they continued to dominate.

In truth Vincent’s after a few recent battling displays had no structure in the offence court with American Donovan Fields hogging the ball and players like Stefan Decevic unable to make an impact on this game.

 Picture: Larry Cummins
Picture: Larry Cummins

Top scorers for Cork Emporium Basketball: J Jimenez Gonzalez 22, A O’Sullivan 18, J Dawson 17.

Bright St Vincent’s: D Fields 15, G Tvalabeishvilli 14, S Zecevic 6.

EMPROIUM: C O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan, A O’Sullivan, K Cairns, D Corkery, J Dawson, S O’Flynn, P Cami Gallera, C Blount, L O’Sullivan, P Lucey, J Cotter, J Jimenez Gonzalez.

St VINCENT'S: D Fields, J Verschoyle, C Coombes, J Bakeba-Nsimba, D Monaghan, A Devitt, S Decevic, M Neary, A Costache, R Graham, P Ryan, G Tvalabelsishvilli.

Referees: J Malaysko (Portlaoise), M Landos (Portlaoise), R Cosgrove (Limerick).

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130


Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here


Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more