Tralee Warriors BC Basketball Image Pat Duffy National Cup 2021/2022 – Round 1

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 74

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 66

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors are through to the quarter final of the Pat Duffy National Cup after overcoming Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 74-66 at the Tralee Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon to set up a quarter final meeting with Moycullen at the same venue on the first weekend in December. The clash of the the top two in the Southern Conference promised more than it delivered in terms of quality but Cup ties are for winning, and John Dowling’s charges can now look forward with some confidence to a National Cup quarter final date with Moycullen in Tralee in four weeks time.

The Warriors stormed into the contest with the best possible start they could have wished for with Nikola Roso leading the charge with the opening score. Ballicollig briefly led through scores from Andre Nation and Adrian O’Sullivan but the home side then went on a run to fire into a double digit lead midway through the quarter. Two three pointers from Roso and Daniel Jokubaitis allied to scores from Aaron Calixte and Kieran Donaghy with a plus one saw the hosts lead 16-6. The industrious Milorad Sedlarevic was on the mark for the visitors before the Warriors pushed further ahead through Ron Elsknis, a cracking three from the corner from Eoin Quigley and when Quigley then obliged with two from two from the line, the home side were 23-10 up at the first break.

Ballincollig were first out of traps in the second quarter with Ciaran O’Sullivan driving to the board to cut the gap but two sensational back-to-back threes from Jokubaitis piled more pressure on the Cork side. Andre Nation fired in a major score to keep his side in range but when Calixte slalomed to the board to score the Warriors held a 14 point lead. Keelan Cairns, Nation and Sedlarevic combined to help bridge the gap to single figures, but Calixte and Jokubaitis restored the Warriors lead of 43-30 at the long break.

Coach Kieran O’Sullivan’s half time talk in the Ballincollig dressing room had the desired effect as his side cut loose in the third quarter to power their way back into the contest. Cairns, Nation and captain Adrian O’Sullivan were on the mark early to leave just seven between the sides. O’Sullivan then found the space to fire in a superb score from outside the arc and when he added another from close range the lead was down to 48-42. Ron Elksnis added the hosts only two scores from play in the quarter but O’Sullivan continued to torment the Warriors rearguard and added again from inside and out to draw the sides level at 50-50. Sedlarevic then had the final say in the quarter when converting from the line to see Ballincollig lead for the first time since early in the opening quarter and take a slender 52-51 advantage down the stretch.

The Warriors regrouped and regathered early in the final quarter and they regained the lead and when Roso dropped in a score from close range and Calixte and Quigley arced in a three pointer each. Ballincollig were now in foul trouble with both Keelan Cairns and Andre Nation on four fouls apiece as the Warriors eased back into a 63-55 lead. Nikola Roso helped himself to another from close range before converting two from two from the line and when Jokubaitis followed suit the gap was out to ten. To their credit Ballincollig battled to the end and scores from Dylan Corkery and Pau Cami Galera kept the Warriors honest. But Aaron Calixte completed his top scoring performance with an unopposed lay-up to seal the 74-66 win and set up the quarter final clash with Moycullen.

Top scorers: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Aaron Calixte 20, Nikola Roso 16, Daniel Jokubaitis 14

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: Andre Nation 18, Milorad Sedlarevic 14, Adrian O’Sullivan 14

Next up for the Garvey’s Tralee Warriors is an away trip to take on NUIG Maree in the Kingfisher Arena at NUI Galway on Saturday night with tip off at 7.00pm.


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