UCD Marian claimed the InsureMyHouse.ie Men’s National Intermediate Cup Competition, with an 83-58 success over Leixlip Zalgiris. UCD Marian’s centre Antonio Castillo was dominant in the inside, with 23 points and 12 defensive rebounds and three offensive rebounds, to deservedly claimed the MVP - his coolness throughout summed up by him wearing sunglasses for MVP presentation after the game.
It was a tight opening quarter with Leixlip Zalgiris holding the slenderest of leads at the end of it, 17-16. The start of second quarter was also close, there was a lovely three from the corner by Marius Kasperavicius to bring it to 21-21 in the third minute. Conor Meany hit a hot streak in the second quarter, his three point jump shot made it 26-21 to UCD Marian. Their advantage was seven points, 30-23, midway through the quarter, following Colm O’Reilly’s basket.
MVP Antonio Castilla is presented with his award by NABC Chairman Jason Thornton.
Leixlip Zalgiris came back and got within a point with three minutes to go, 32-31, following Aurimas Statkus’ layup and subsequent free throw, after he’d picked up a foul.
UCD Marian built a lead once more, a big three on the half-time buzzer from Meany, followed by a clenched fist celebration, handed UCD Marian a 39-31 advantage at the break.
Andrius Lekavicius got Leixlip Zalgiris off the mark in the third quarter to make it a six point game. But UCD Marian started to take control of this game, a neat pass from Meany picked out Castillo in the paint and his flicked layup extended UCD Marian’s advantage to 47-34. Leixlip Zalgiris struggled to find their range early in the quarter, but finally got going with an eight point run – Statkus and Kestutis Damulevicius with three’s either side of Dalius Tamosauskis’ basket, to trail 51-42. A turnaround jump shot from Meany, another layup from the imposing Castillo and a big three from David Drumm had UCD Marian up by 18 points. Leixlip Zalgiris managed to reduce that deficit - a three from by Marius Kasperavicius as he fell to the floor made it 60-47 at the end of the quarter.
Kasperavicius began the fourth with another three-point jump shot and the gap was now 10. But UCD Marian weren’t be denied, a dunk by Colm O’Reilly had them ahead by 19 points, 72-53, with 5’35” left on the clock and there was to be no dramatic comeback from their County Kildare-based opponents.
UCD Marian head coach Gareth O’Reilly said: “Our defence really kept us in it to be honest with you. There was a couple of times they had two three-point shots in a row, but we really just locked in on defence. Antonio (Castillo) was amazing inside, just to control the inside threat we felt coming into the game was the biggest thing by a million miles and we managed to do that. We got into a bit of foul trouble early on, but overall we were patient on offence and moved the ball and let our experience show. Overall, really, really happy.”
UCD Marian 83–58 Leixlip Zalgiris
Q1: 16-17, Q2: 39-31, Q3: 60-47, Q4: 83-58
UCD Marian: Mike Higgins, Leonardo Marcon, David Drumm, Conor Meany, Colm O’Reilly, Paraic Moran, Antonio Castillo, Valerio Amicucci, Liam Smyth, Donal Ring, Brian O’Hara Duggan, Tommy Coogan
Coach: Gareth O’Reilly
Top Scorers: Antonio Castillo (23), Colm O’Reilly (19) Conor Meany (17), Leonardo Macron (7), David Drumm (5)
Leixlip Zalgiris: Vaidas Gustys, Jurgis Butkevicius, Kestusis Damulevicius, Andrius Urnikis, Aurimas Statkus, Dalius Tamosaukis, Erlandas Rakauskas, Mazvydas Cepliauskas, Andrius Lekavicius, Marius Kasperavicius, Martynas Bickus, Eugenijus Pocius, Rimantas Smitas
Coach: Mazvydas Cepliauskas Asst Coach: Aurimas Statkus Team Manager: Darijus Pencila Physio: Leone Redmond
Top Scorers: Marius Kasperavicius (17), Aurimas Statkus (12), Kestusis Damulevicius (8), Dalius Tamosaukis (7) Andrius Lekavicius (7)