8 January 2024

~4 minutes read

Titans show composure on the road to beat Ballincollig in InsureMyHouse.ie U20 Men’s National Cup

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Titans show composure on the road to beat Ballincollig in InsureMyHouse.ie U20 Men’s National Cup

Titans Basketball Club made it back-to-back InsureMyHouse.ie U20 Men’s National Cup final appearances with a 78-72 success over Ballincollig BC on the Cork side’s home floor Sunday afternoon.

Ballincollig will rue a five-and-a-half-minute scoreless spell in the third quarter that allowed the Galway outfit to put the game to bed. Irish U18 international Declan Gbinigie showed his class throughout in an intriguing matchup with Brendan Douanla, coming up big in key moments down the stretch.

The home side controlled the pace for much of the first half. The aforementioned Douanla along with Irish underage international Rory O’Flynn showed why they’ve been around the Irish Guide Dogs Ballincollig @MTU Super League set up, combining for 31 of their side’s 48 first half points. Isaac Eroutteh was also getting the better of Gbinigie in the paint, leading to crucial extra possessions for Kieran O’Sullivan’s charges.

Titans prowess from range kept them in touch despite being passive in the lane. Eoin Potito, Daniel Baech-Herke, Jason Nwose and Viktor Tashev hit eight, three-point shots between them and with Ballincollig only managing two of their own through O’Flynn and Scannell, the margin was 48-41 In favour of Ballincollig at the break.

Jack Considine clearly lit a fire under his group in the locker room because they quickly made inroads into the Ballincollig advantage. Lay ups for Gbinigie on consecutive possessions brought them to within three, he would go on to have 11 of his 13 points in this ten-minute spell. Eoin Hardiman then hit their ninth from downtown and when Stephen Owede successfully drove the basketball seconds later, the teams were level at 51 points apiece. Parity didn’t last long though as O’Flynn went straight up the court off the inbounds and hit his second three to edge Ballincollig back into the lead.

Crucially, this was their last score for another four minutes. Titans made the most of the shift in momentum. Hardiman, Viktor Tashev and Gbinigie scored the next nine points to turn the contest on its head and give the Galway side a 63-58 advantage going into the fourth and final quarter.

With a large home crowd behind them Ballincollig tried to rally at various intervals. Douanla came back into the game making a contested mid-range jumper to make it a one score game with 9:19 on the clock. A quick response came through Stephen Owede and that proved to be the story until the close of play. Each time Ballincollig put the pressure on their opponents, Titans players were able to make shots in clutch situations and keep the Cork team at arms length. Sam Cassidy came off the bench to extend Titans lead once more and when Owede notched his sixth point of the game with 4:54 to go, the bubble burst in Ballincollig’s challenge entirely.

Titans showed their composure to use the shot clock and minimise the number of Ballincollig possessions until the final buzzer. They will now meet Limerick Celtics in an intriguing InsureMyHouse.ie U20 Men’s National Cup final in two weekends.

Quarter Scores: Q1: 20-25 Q2: 41-48 Q3: 63-58 Q4: 78-72

Titans BC:

Tashev Viktor, Gbinigie Declan, Nwose, Jason, Hardiman Eoin, Stosic Filip, Walls-Tuite Cormac, Baeck-Herke Daniel, O’Leary Senan, O’Conaola Liam, Abiodun Ezekial, Potito Eoin, Callaghan Matthew

Head Coach: Jack Considine

Top Scorers: Declan Gbinigie (13), Jason Nwose (13), Viktor Tashev (12)

Ballincollig BC:

Rory O’Flynn, Oisin O’Hanlon, Brendan Douanla, Jamie Cotter, Jack Scannell, Jack Dakissa, Eoghan Carew, Isaac Eroutteh, Charlie Lester, David Omoniyi, Gavin Igbinoghene, Charlie Curran, Ahmed Bello, Billy Bell

Head Coach: Kieran O’Sullivan

Top Scorers:  Rory O’Flynn (22), Brendan Douanla (19), Isaac Eroutteh (14)

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