Templeogue maintained their perfect start to the season in the Irish men’s super league in a weird game that saw one man get angry at himself, and score a lot, then get angry at the fans, and score some more. Emmet Ryan with his belated update on the latest Irish action
So, fun fact, I woke up on Sunday with a violent stress migraine and my gut basically begging me not to move. Normally I’d say ‘that was the pints’ but given recent weeks it’s definitely because I’ve been working way too much. Since getting back from San Francisco at the end of September it’s been bonkers. I all but collapsed the first weekend I had off and had to stay in bed all weekend. The following one was a minor improvement. I felt ok going to Belfield on Saturday night and going home, with plans to do some writing before the county hurling final. Turned out the idea of moving was terrifying to my everything so I stayed laid up until after tea time. I took Monday at home before returning to work today (Tuesday).
All of which is a long-winded way of saying, this piece is later than planned because I was wrecked. Now onto the reason you all came here.
What didn’t wreck me, fortunately, was doing something to make Dee Proby angry. The reigning Irish super league MVP scored 9 points in the first half against UCD Marian but his shot was off. This clearly bothered him. After getting stopped on his first effort in the second half, he went on to make 6 buckets in 7 minutes in the third quarter in order to resolve his inner rage at himself.
Then some of UCD’s younger fans tried to get under his skin. Good for them for trying but they really bit off more than they could chew. Every successful bucket in the fourth saw Proby make a little shimmy in celebration. The kids really weren’t getting the message that the more they questioned him, the more he would make them pay. After they began an ill-advised ‘over-rated’ chant…always a sign you’re doing something right in fairness…he made a step-back shot, spun around on a dime, and roared “Shut yo’ ass up”.
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Here, for those of you who weren’t in Belfield is that moment. It’s the speed of the whole process that truly impresses.
— Basketball Ireland (@BballIrl) October 20, 2018
Shot selection, adjustment, make, turn, sass, all inside of 5 seconds. I’ve…nothing I can write can top whatever disgusting analogy you are making in your head right now so let’s go with that.
Proby finished up with 29 points and Templeogue won by 6 points, 82-88, but we can’t ignore that this game was objectively stupid. UCD Marian came out really cold. There’s not much they could do about Neil Randolph going crazy from deep early, with five 3s in the first frame, but everything else they touched turned to coleslaw that’s been out in the sun all day.
Then in the second, they got their act together and shut Templeogue down hard offensively. Proby’s shot being off certainly helped the home side’s cause but after the league leaders built up at 21 point lead at the end of the first frame the only reasonable expectation was that this would end up being a snuff film. Instead the reigning champs managed to stay in touch through the third before leveling matters at the business end of the fourth.
The tire of the chase eventually caught up to UCD Marian but after a simply dominant opening 10 minutes where their top guy was meh, Templegoue finished with a just below meh 30 minutes where their top guy took charge. This was weird basketball to watch even if the final numbers were normal enough.
Now let’s hear from the dude that took care of business.
— Ball in Europe (@bie_basketball) October 20, 2018
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- The big result in round 4 came from Belfast Star as they just uncorked a whupping on DCU Saints, taking a 55-96 win on the road. That may be the coming out party result for the northern side which appears to be on the up again after some awfully dull and uncompetitive seasons. At 3-1, they already own a win over UCD Marian and their lone loss was at league leaders Templeogue on opening day.
- Maree pulled off an upset in Cork as the Galway club got its first win of the season 86-90 over UCC Demons. That result means Neptune are the only side waiting for a win after they fell to 0-4 with a 90-111 home loss to Moycullen
- As the trend suggests, this was a good week for road teams. The only two home wins of the weekend came for Tralee Warriors, 90-81 over Swords Thunder, and Killorglin, 67-64 over Killester. Both the Kerry clubs sit on 3-1 with Belfast.
- With this being a cup weekend, there are only two league fixtures. Belfast can join Templeogue at the top with a win over Neptune while Moycullen host Swords.
- Due to the issues mentioned at the top of this piece, and my working on Connected magazine in the Sunday Business Post through the weekend, annnnd my old flatmate being home for the weekend, I won’t be covering any cup action. I’m also gone from the following Saturday for work overseas so the next time I’ll be offering my musings on this league in person will be the round on 24 November. In the interim I will, like the rest of you, pester Mary on Facebook streams asking her what the score is.
- And finally, I’ve been covering this league in varying capacities since before it’s brief stint as the Premier League (remember that?). I only recently found out that Super League is meant to be two words so, as I like dumb stuff, I’ve started using the hashtag #STWL for coverage (Super Two Words League). It is stupid but I get a kick out of it.
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