All-Stars are three wins from three on the road this sea­son

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

UL­STER ELKS

EJ’S SLIGO ALL-STARS 77 83

EJ’S Sligo All-Stars are now 3 wins from 3 on the road this sea­son fol­low­ing an 83-77 win on Satur­day af­ter­noon against Ul­ster Elks at the Jor­danstown Cam­pus. The All-Stars con­trolled the game from the start and en­joyed a 30 point lead at one stage be­fore be­ing pegged back in the 4th Quar­ter to even­tu­ally fin­ish win­ners by 6.

EJ’s Sligo All-Stars started with a first 5 of Oisín O’Reilly, Tobi Brock­mann, Amer­i­can Zack Yonda, Je­sus SanMartin and Inigo Za­balo. Bal­liso­dare na­tive Tobi Brock­mann made his pres­ence felt im­me­di­ately with a nice lay up un­der pres­sure which drew a foul from the Elks de­fence and he fol­lowed up with the free throw to make it a 3-point play. Strong de­fence by Oisín O’Reilly and Je­sus SanMartin in the next play left O’Reilly with the ball on a fast break and he set up Brock­mann for a long range 3 pointer to leave the away team lead­ing 6-2. Elks re­sponded with a 3-point play of their own but there was no stop­ping Brock­mann in the early part of the game as he landed an­other lay-up and fol­lowed up with a fur­ther 3 pointer. A com­bi­na­tion of poor shoot­ing from Elks, strong de­fence by All-Stars and some ex­cel­lent of­fen­sive play by EJ’s Sligo All-Stars saw the away team con­tinue to dom­i­nate and lead at the end of the first quar­ter on a score line of 28-12.

It was more of the same in the 2nd quar­ter as EJ’s Sligo All-Stars ex­tended their lead on their first of­fence with a 3 pointer from the cor­ner by Zack Yonda. They kept the pres­sure on the home team with fur­ther bas­kets by for­mer coach Al­berto Gar­cia, 3 bas­kets in a row from Spa­niard Je­sus San Martin and free throws from Yonda and Brock­mann. All-Stars were ram­pant dur­ing the early stages of the 2nd quar­ter and added to their tally with a nice pull up jump shot from O’Reilly, lay up from Inigo Za­balo and a bas­ket by Amer­i­can McCle­naghan fol­low­ing some good work on the of­fen­sive boards. EJ’s Sligo All-Stars lead 48-23 with 4 min­utes left on the clock when Elks called a time out to try and in­ter­rupt the away team’s mo­men­tum. It didn’t have the de­sired ef­fect how­ever as the All-Stars added the next 5 points to reach a 30-point lead. Elks stead­ied them­selves for the last cou­ple of min­utes and the half ended with the All-Stars lead­ing 57-30.

All-Stars started the 2nd half with Za­balo, SanMartin, Brock­mann, O’Reilly and Yonda. The 2 teams traded bas­kets for much of the 3rd Quar­ter but the home team were slowly creep­ing back into the game as the quar­ter wore on.

De­spite in­creas­ing pres­sure EJ’s Sligo All-Stars still held what looked like a com­fort­able 19-point lead at the end of the 3rd Quar­ter, 73-54

The lead proved to be any­thing but com­fort­able as the home side pushed the All-Stars all the way in the 4th. All-Stars started the quar­ter with Za­balo, McCle­naghan, Gar­cia, Cham­bers and O’Reilly. They started brightly with a nice hook shot by McCle­naghan and a good ef­fort from SanMartin fol­low­ing good of­fen­sive re­bound­ing to ex­tend their lead to 23 again. The home team re­sponded im­me­di­ately with a 3 pointer be­fore EJ’s Sligo All-Stars in­terim coach Pau Vila called a Time-Out. Elks dom­i­nated again from the restart and sud­denly their shots started to fall for them. Their deficit was re­duced to 15 be­fore an­other time out. A full court press be­ing em­ployed by Elks was be­gin­ning to pay div­i­dends as the All-Stars en­ergy lev­els started to fade and they con­ceded fouls and points from the free throw line. Now it was the All-Stars turn to strug­gle to get the bas­kets to fall for them and what once seemed an unas­sail­able lead was quickly whit­tled down to just 3 points, 79-76 with 38.5 sec­onds re­main­ing in the game. Coach Vila called his fi­nal TimeOut and gath­ered his troops. The Time Out al­lowed All-Stars to in­bound the ball in the front court and a well-or­ches­trated move by the All-Stars cou­pled with some fine in­di­vid­ual skill by Amer­i­can McCle­naghan was fin­ished with an em­phatic dunk by the Amer­i­can Vic­tory Scholar. With the lead back up to 5 the pres­sure was back on the home side to make some­thing hap­pen quickly. A quick 3-point ef­fort was missed, and the re­bound was taken by SanMartin for the All-Stars who off­loaded to ball car­rier Za­balo. He was im­me­di­ately fouled and as the Elks were on team fouls it put Za­balo on the free throw line. While both free throws were missed, All-Stars man­aged to win the re­bound from the 2nd free throw and kill off more valu­able sec­onds. The ball went out of play with 11.5 sec­onds on the clock and All-Stars lead­ing 81-76. Elks man­aged to get to the free throw line and made one from two to re­duce the deficit to 4 but with only 5 sec­onds left they fouled O’Reilly im­me­di­ately af­ter the ball was in­bounded from the free throw. O’Reilly calmly went to the free throw line and nailed both shots to leave the away team with the vic­tory on a fi­nal score line of 83-77.

EJ’s Sligo All-Stars are now 3 wins from five games and con­tinue their sea­son with an­other away game against Tolka Rovers in Dublin this Satur­day with a tip off time of 6pm. Top scor­ers for EJ’s Sligo All-Stars were Con­nor McCle­naghan 18, Tobi Brock­mann 17, Je­sus SanMartin 15.

EJ’S Sligo All-Stars: Inigo Za­balo, Oisin O’Reilly, Zack Yonda, Tobi Brock­mann, Mark Cham­bers, Con­nor McCleneghan, Je­sus SanMartin, Al­berto Gar­cia, Zak Balougan.

Sean Sheerin of Sheerins Bus Hire Clif­foney pre­sent­ing a new set of jer­seys to Clif­foney Celtic FC for the new sea­son. In­cluded in the picture are Gary O’Con­nor, Dessie O’Con­nor, Sean Sheerin, Alan Wal­lace, Oisín Wat­ters & Michael Wat­ters.

Oisín O’Reilyof EJ’s Sligo All-Stars.

Naomh Eoin team that were run­ners up in the Ex­pert Elec­tri­cal Sligo U16 Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship fi­nal. Pics: Dar­ragh Cox.

Easkey/St Far­nan’s team that won the Ex­pert Elec­tri­cal Sligo U16 Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Scar­den on Satur­day

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