The Hula Hoops Men's and Women's National Cup semifinals were played out this weekend in Cork in what is one of the biggest weekends on the Irish basketball calendar (even David Clifford was in attendance last night). While just one of the four games went all the way down to the wire, there were a number of outstanding performances to behold at the Mardyke and the prospect of a truly outstanding finals weekend in Tallaght in two weeks time lies ahead of us.
Here are 5 stand-out performances from the four big semifinals.
Ciaran Roe - Killester
If there was an award for Player of the Weekend, it would go to Ciaran Roe. Saturday's much-anticipated headliner between Killester and Tralee was ultimately determined by Roe, the diminutive Killester point guard, who contributed 34 points. Roe was lights-out when Killester were stamping their authority on the game in the first half and he was unwavering at the free throw line at the end of the game, as a dogged Tralee team battled back.
Briana Green - Liffey Celtics
The former UTEP player was absolutely phenomenal as Liffey Celtics battered the reigning champs to continue their brilliant season. Scoring 14 in the second quarter alone, Green was on another level against DCU.
Conor Meany - UCD Marian
After losing last year's final in controversial circumstances, Marian's 2018-19 Cup run has an air of unfinished business. They made quick work of an injury-depleted Belfast Star side Saturday afternoon. Meany was brilliant off the bench for Marian, contributing 18 points to the cause.
Danielle O'Leary - Brunell
Friday was a night to remember for the north Cork club, as Brunell outlasted Corkonian rivals Father Mathews to secure their place in the women's final. Danielle O'Leary was exceptional for Brunell throughout the game, and especially in the fourth quarter, as her late three-pointer put the semifinal on ice.
Kieran Donaghy - Tralee
A stats sheet couldn't capture Kieran Donaghy's contribution for Tralee Warriors. But after Tralee dug themselves a 16-point second quarter hole after a lethargic start to their game with Killester, Donaghy helped inspire a spirited and improbable comeback. Donaghy's defense and rebounding was critical for Tralee as they mounted their comeback. In the dying seconds of the game, Donaghy, two months shy of his 36th birthday, was still flinging his body about the Mardyke in pursuit of loose balls.