Basketball: McGinn praises Neptune spirit
"WE wanted it more." That was MVP Michael McGinn's simple explanation as Bord Gais Neptune recorded their first Men's SuperLeague National Cup success since 1992 with an 85-65 victory over defending champions UL Eagles at the National Basketball Arena.
McGinn was a deserving winner of the individual award but was quick to praise the effort the entire team produced.
"It was a fantastic team performance, I think everybody did very well. The way we trained for the last two weeks; the way we prepared for this game; the way we knew who to go to, who to mark. Our preparation was fantastic," McGinn remarked afterwards.
"We fought from the minute the ball was tipped. We wanted it more, we knew we wanted it, and we knew we'd get it. It was a team performance."
The 30-year-old also finished as the game's top scorer with a grand total of 28 points and 6ft 6ins powerhouse Darren Townes was not far behind him on 23. While this did show the scoring prowess that Neptune's coach Mark Scannell had at his disposal, McGinn was just pleased that they got over the line, and wasn't concerned about how well each individual performed.
"It doesn't matter who performs at the end of the day once you come out winners. I'd have preferred if everybody had nearly 30 points.
"It doesn't matter to us. I'm happy to just have a win, it has been a long time coming for us, and we deserve it. It has been a long time."
Having lost to Eagles in the league earlier on in the season, Neptune were eager to get one over on their Munster rivals, and with their women's side, UL Huskies, having secured the Women's SuperLeague Cup in the preceding game, McGinn felt it was important that they hit the ground running from the word go, as this ultimately was the catalyst for the Cork outfit's triumph.
"It's good to get one back on them. They beat us earlier in the season, but there was only a basket in it towards the end. We're delighted to get this one, this is the one we wanted the most."