Swords Thunder 88 Templeogue 81: Griffith Swords Thunder produced champagne basketball to dethrone National cup champions Templeogue in a thrilling quarter final at the National Basketball Arena last night.
This was basketball at its best with both sides producing stunning passages over the four quarters.
In a cracking opening quarter both sides traded baskets for long periods with Jason Killeen excelling in this period for Templeogue with consecutive baskets that gave his side a four point lead in the fifth minute.
Credit to Swords they responded in style and with Spanish ace Jose Maria Gil Narbon hurting Templeogue at the post they deservedly commanded a 28-26 lead.
On the restart both sides increased the tempo and the game was tied at 45 points each with three minutes remaining to the interval.
Templeogue’s Irish star Lorcan Murphy produced two stunning dunks that had the large attendance at basketball headquarters on their feet. Swords had the final say of the quarter but they trailed 51-46 at the break.
Both teams struggled on the scoring front in the third quarter as Templeogue continued to punish Swords at low post.
In the closing minute Kevin Lacey banked a crucial shot that reduced the deficit to three points 69-66 as the fourth period beckoned.
Coming down the stretch Swords Isaac Westbrooks took command at the point as last year’s defeated finalists booked their place in the last four. Thunder coach Dave Baker said: “I am thrilled in the manner we executed our opportunities coming down the stretch.”
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