Saturday 17 March 2018

O'Reilly inspires Demons in decider

Bord Gais Neptune 61

Dublin Inter 65

Dublin Inter shocked the Irish basketball public with a dramatic win over Bord Gais Neptune in the Men's National Cup semi-final.

After the thrill of the overtime first semi-final, there was an odd deflation in Neptune Stadium as the host took the floor..

It showed in their early play as Dublin Inter, featuring in the club's first ever National Cup semi-final, surged into a 14-3 lead, with Aurimus Statkus causing the most problems.

U-20 star Roy Downey led the Neptune rally, connecting on 11 points to reduce the deficit to 43-34 at half-time.

The teams traded baskets in the third-quarter but Inter still stretched their lead to 58-46 at the end of the period ,with their ticket to a National Cup final half-punched.

When Neptune turned over their first possession, a wayward pass by Darren Townes, it looked as if it was to be Inter's night without much resistance.

The crowd sensed more drama however, particularly when Townes slammed home an alley-oop dunk right before Matti Rudak converted an offensive rebound for two.

Still trailing by eight with five to go, an Ian McLoughlin three brought Neptune as close as they had been all game.

Neptune eventually drew level when the cup hero from last season, Mike McGinn stole the ball and finished an open layup with just a minute and half remaining as the stands, packed with Neptune support, erupted.

Just when it looked like Neptune would pull off the inevitable comeback and win, a massive three pointer from Mazvydas Cepliasuskas gave Inter a three point lead with under a minute to go.

Neptune could not recover, managing only an under pressure three point attempt from McGinn for an asnwer. With Neptune fouling to stop the clock, when Inter converted a single free thrown on the next possession the game was over and Inter were through to face Demons on January 24th in Dublin.

Bord Gais Neptune 61 (34) (R Downey 11, M Rudak 11, D Townes 11) Dublin Inter 65 (43) (A Statkus 22, M Cepliasuskas 16, M Tamusauskas 12)

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport