NUIG Mystics and Portlaoise Panthers will go head-to-head in the Hula Hoops Women’s National Cup quarter-final this coming Sunday (December 3rd) in Oranmore, Co. Galway.
Mystics come into the game off the back of a huge first win of the season on Thursday night, where they secured an 84-77 point overtime win against IT Carlow Basketball in the preliminary round of the Cup. The Galway team did battle with Portlaoise just two weeks ago in the League in a game that saw the midlanders come out on top, 71-52.
Mystics head coach Mike Murray however, is hoping that the momentum from their first win of the year on Thursday will be enough to carry them through this Sunday’s quarter-final clash.
“The win on Thursday will give us a boost, and we’re really looking forward to the game against Portlaoise now,” he stated. “We’re training well, the girls are a good team and up to now, closing out games was an issue.
“We’ll be ready for Portlaoise on Sunday, they beat us pretty easily down in Portlaoise. We didn’t play to our strengths then, but Cup games are so different and now we’ve a bit of confidence going into the game now that we’ve finally got a win at last.”
Panthers coach, Peter O’Sullivan was also looking forward to the clash: “We are looking forward to the match up with Mystics this weekend. We put in a big performance against them at home in the league last weekend and we would hope that we can bring this form into the Cup game.
“The margin of victory last time suggests that it was an easy win for us, but it was far from that, and we expect an even bigger challenge this Sunday.”
Meanwhile in Belfast, preparations are well underway for the tip off of the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, which gets underway this afternoon. Kerry native, Cian Sullivan, will be representing his home nation with pride when he lines out for La Salle in the second game this evening.