Dublin’s Friday night SuperLeague men’s contest at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin was sparsely but enthusiastically attended.
The crowd who did show didn’t see much in the way of dunks or dazzle but were instead rewarded with a clinic in offensive spacing, ball movement, and effective shooting, particularly from Audrius Jonusas’ Dublin Inter Nazionales squad, who beat the DCU Saints, 82-67. I left impressed with the kind of basketball that was played.
The Saints jumped out to a 20-17 first-quarter lead, but after that it was all Nazionales, who draw several members of their roster from Eastern Europe. In the second and third quarters alone, the Nazionales outscored the Saints 39-21. Mindaugas Tamusauskas and Aurimas Statkus led the way with 23 and 16 points, respectively.
The Saints were paced by Pat Glover with 14 points and Eoin Quill with 13. Quill, who came off the bench, tried to ease the bleeding by knocking in a three from well beyond the arch to beat the shot clock late in the second quarter.
But the Saints could never really get enough consecutive defensive stops to get back in the game. The Nazionales scored at will, and by the beginning of the fourth quarter, the outcome was hardly in doubt.
Photos credited to SportSHOT.eu