National Basketball Arena

Dublin Inter Nazionales Drill DCU Saints in SuperLeague Play

Dublin Inter Nazionale’s point guard Mazvydas Cepliauskas controlled the pace in their 82-67 over the DCU Saints.

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

Hoop dreams SMCB

Team Huddle - St Malachy's prepare for U19 cup final in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin on Thursday 9th February

Tomorrow, St Malachy’s College Belfast once again looks to assert itself as one of the most successful high school basketball programmes in Ireland as the U19 team compete in the All-Ireland cup in the National Basketball Arena, Dublin. The Belfast school will face a tough Presentation Bray (Pres Bray) school, Co. Wicklow, who have already proved their offensive talent, racking up 100 points in the semi-finals of the cup.

St Malachy’s will look to exploit their size advantage in and around the basket with Liam Pettigrew (6’6) and Pete Kelly (6’3) at the forward and centre positions. The backcourt consists of the reputable Conor & Aidan Quinn; twin brothers who are currently on the Ireland panel. Tom Dougherty, the younger brother of Michael ‘Doc’ Dougherty (Belfast Star Superleague), will also play his role at the point guard spot, as will lefty veteran Own Duffy. Coach Fulton is proud of his team’s accomplishments to-date and recognises that  James Smyth, captain, for having displayed tremendous leadership in helping get his team to the final.

The team boasts a healthy mix of experienced and hungry players; many of the younger members of the team won last year’s U16 cup while several senior players, in their final year of school, have been in 3 finals and are yet to take home the trophy. This year, Adrian Fulton believes all his players have a role to play and recognises that competition for playing time is fierce given the quality and depth of the roster. I asked Coach Fulton about how the team are feeling about the game and what he thought of their opponent, Pres Bray:

 

Team Profile – St Malachy’s U19A Boys

 

James Smyth (C)

Name:   James Smyth

Position:   Forward

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   17

 

 

 

 

 

Liam Pettigrew

 

Name:  Liam Pettigrew

Position:   Centre

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

Aidan Quinn

 

Name:   Aidan Quinn

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

Conor Quinn

 

Name:   Conor Quinn

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Kelly

 

Name:   Pete Kelly

Position:   Forward

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   17

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Gorman

 

Name:   Michael Gorman

Position:   Forward

Club:   Lisburn ’94

Age:   17

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph O'Boyle

 

Name:   Joseph O’Boyle

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   17

 

 

 

 

 

Dominic Lyttle

 

Name:   Dominic Lyttle

Position:   Forward

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

Callum MacHugh

 

Name:   Callum MacHugh

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Goldring

 

Name:   Aaron Goldring

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

Tom 'Doc' Dougherty

 

Name:   Tom Dougherty

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   17

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Joe Rooney

 

Name:   Sean Joe Rooney

Position:   Guard

Club:   Belfast Star

Age:   16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Courtside Collective would like to wish Coach Fulton and the entire St Malachy’s U19 team the very best for the cup final tomorrow in Dublin’s National Basketball Arena.

The 2012 All-Ireland U19A Cup winners?

N.B Missing: Owen Duffy from profile and team photograph