Tralee bow out as Éanna book final spot
Kieran Donaghy's Tralee Warriors bowed out of the National Cup after a 78-63 semi-final defeat to DBS Éanna on Saturday night in Cork's Neptune stadium.
The Dubliners will now face Templeogue in the final at the National Basketball Arena on January 25 after earning a 78-75 win over Neptune later on Saturday.
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"We played their game and we beat them at. This is my first time ever here, I'm here as a head coach, and I swear I'm a bundle of nerves and wrecked," said Éanna head coach Darren McGovern.
Following on from their league victory over Éanna last week, Tralee just edged to a 26-24 half-time lead thanks to some strong scoring from Paul Dick.
However, the Kerry men couldn't subdue Éanna's sharp-shooting Serbian Stefan Zecevic, who registered 24 points.
In the other semi-final, a huge three-pointer from Neil Randolph - brother of Ireland goalkeeper Darren - with just over two minutes remaining gave Templeogue a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
A Jason Killeen basket put them three up and another massive Killeen score followed as the game ticked toward the last minute.
The final chapter had not yet been written, as Kyle Hosford had ice in his veins to slot home two free-throws at the other end.
Randolph replied in kind for Templeogue and despite a late Hosford bucket, and a final last-gasp shot from Lehmon Colbert, it was Templeogue who triumphed.
"I've mixed emotions. I don't think we played very well, but it'll sink in soon that we actually won," Templeogue coach Mark Keenan said. "Semi-finals can be games like that, you still have to try and win them, we found a way in the fourth quarter to get in front.
"Neil hit a massive three to put us in the lead and we got a lot of energy from that. I am delighted."
In the women's game, Brunell return to the cup final for the second consecutive year after dismissing league leaders DCU Mercy by 75-68.
They will face Killester who beat Ambassador UCC Glanmire 78-75 on Saturday.
A stunning display from Glanmire's Shrita Parker - which saw her finish with 35 points - just wasn't enough for the Cork outfit on the day despite them having raced into an early first-quarter lead.
Killester clawed their way back into contention by midway through the second quarter when Aisling McCann and Adella Randle El took control to guide them to the final whistle in front.