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Thursday 25 May 2017

Baker delighted as Killester left Thunder-struck in final

Thunder celebrate with the cup.
Thunder celebrate with the cup.

Griffith Swords Thunder were crowned Hula Hoops National Cup champions on Saturday after a convincing 21-point win over Pyrobel Killester in the final at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

President Michael D Higgins was in the Arena to witness a superb MVP performance from Jose Maria Gil Narbon and a powerful point guard display by Isaac Westbrooks in the face of friends and former teammates.

A Killester trio of 2010 National Cup winners all started the game with Al Casey captaining the side alongside Peder Madsen and the indefatigable Jermaine Turner.

"I won't let this Cup out of my hands," said head coach Dave Baker afterwards. "I'm over the moon, it's an incredible experience. Last year we were on the opposite end of it, this year we're lifting it - I won't let it out of my hands. We've taken our focus off games before, but we kept going and kept fighting. The guys were incredible this evening, everyone chipped in and worked for each other, they're amazing."

Earlier in the evening meanwhile, BFG Neptune made it two wins from two finals as they clung firmly on to their lead to win out 97-85 in the President's Cup final after a thrilling clash with Ej Sligo All-Stars.

Neptune were led by their talisman Sean Jenkins who finished with 32 points, along with Gary Walsh who netted five three-pointers at crucial times for the Cork side.

"This is just as sweet as the first time," said MVP of the Hula Hoops Women's National Cup final Grainne Dwyer as Ambassador UCC Glanmire secured their fourth Cup title in a row yesterday with an impressive and dominating 48-61 point win over Courtyard Liffey Celtics.

"It's a bit surreal. I'm emotional about it, I thought it was amazing four years ago, but this is just as sweet," she continued.

A Glanmire team packed full of experienced players including Grainne Dwyer, Aine McKenna, Claire Rockall and Chantell Alford to name but a few, drove home to victory in style in front of a large crowd at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

Elsewhere, Ulster Rockets just managed to cling on to a one-point lead in their Senior Women's National Cup final earlier to win 54-55 against Marble City Hawks in overtime.

BFG Neptune added another special chapter to their club history earlier as they secured their third Cup title of the weekend when they overcame KUBS 75-86 in the Hula Hoops Under 20 Men's final.

The game was simply the icing on the cake for a team that has been dazzling spectators in the Arena all weekend.

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