Abbey Seals Dublin Lions ran Griffith College Templeogue extremely close in a big Dublin derby, with Templeogue digging deep down the stretch to win out 96-82 in the men’s basketball Super League.
The game was neck-and-neck for the opening three quarters, with Muhamed Sabic leading the scoring for Lions with 22 points, while young Irish international Finn Hughes and American Conroy Baltimore also impressed.
Lions held a narrow two-point lead at the end of the first, 23-25.
Despite good performances by Lorcan Murphy (who top scored for the game with 27) and Jason Killeen in the second, Templeogue held just a narrow three-point lead at the half, 45-42.
A solid third quarter from Templeogue followed, with Neil Randolph hitting some big scores, and Murphy once more to the fore.
But Lions kept with them every step of the way through Sabic and Hughes.
And just five separated the teams going into the last, Templeogue leading 69-64.
The hosts truly hit their rhythm into the fourth though and some big scores down the stretch saw them 96-82 point winners in the end.
Head coach Mark Keenan stated: “It was a very hard win tonight against a talented Lions team.
“I’m very happy with the way our guys dug in and grounded out the result. It wasn’t pretty at times, but we just got our best run in the game at the right time down the stretch.
“I’m delighted to get the win in our first game in our new home gym.”