REPORT: Warriors Advance To Champions Trophy Semis

Posted by


Alan Cantwell reports on Garvey’s Tralee Warriors quarter-final victory over Swords Thunder yesterday in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors kept their hopes of retaining their Champions Trophy title alive with a 78-71 win over Griffith College Swords Thunder at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Monday.

The sides met just three weeks ago in the regular season in Tralee with the unforgettable last gasp score from Goran Pantovic proving the difference between the sides and giving the Warriors a famous victory.

This time however the sides met in the neutral surrounds of basketball headquarters on Bank Holiday Monday and it was Swords that opened the scoring through Conroy Baltimore.

Continued below…


Warriors struck back with Darren O’Sullivan and Goran Pantovic both in range early and when Trae Pemberton delivered from distance, and when he and Donaghy added from inside the Tralee side led 11-2.

Oisin Kerlin provided the main scoring threat for the Dublin side adding their next four scores but with a three from Donaghy and two scores from Pantovic, the Warriors maintained their advantage.

Isaac Westbrooks then took the initiative for Swords with two big threes either side of an Eoin Quigley effort to cut the Warriors lead to just 20-18 at the end of the first quarter.

The sides went score for score throughout a scrappy second quarter with Antonio Odunuga, Guevara de la Torres and Kerlin with two for Swords cancelled out by baskets from Pantovic, Quigley and Darragh O’Hanlon.

Donaghy then found space to land a three and when Pantovic added and Paul Dick landed his first score for the Warriors they led by six. Donaghy and Kerlin exchanged scores before Travis Black was in range to leave the score at 37-32 to the Warriors at the long break.

The Warriors took the game to their Super League rivals early in the third with Pantovic on the mark from inside before a huge trademark Pemberton three pushed the Tralee side out to a nine point lead.

Westbrooks fired in for Swords before Pemberton and two fine Donaghy scores had the lead out to 13.

Eoin Quigley produced two scores out of nothing for the Warriors and despite Odunuga scoring and adding the extra the gap remained at 13.

Swords returned just three points from three trips to the line from Lacey, Torres and Justin Goldsborough before Dusan Bogdanovic and Paul Dick gave the Warriors a 14-point advantage heading down the stretch.

Into the final quarter and two scores from Baltimore and one from Kevin Lacey gave Swords some hope of a turnaround before a score from Pantovic and a three apiece from Pemberton and O’Hanlon eased the Warriors into a 19 point lead.

Just when it seemed the Tralee side had set sight on the finish line Swords launched a stunning offensive blitz that yielded 12 points without reply.

Threes from Torres and Westbrooks and two scores from inside from Baltimore and another from Westbrooks again had the lead down to seven. Pantovic stopped the rot for Tralee before Swords talisman Westbrooks registered again to leave just five in it.

The Dublin side was in foul trouble at this stage and that allowed Pemberton to go to the line twice in quick succession. The Tralee point guard made no mistake from four attempts and the Warriors lead was out to nine.

Westbrooks again had Tralee fans on the edge of their seats with a superb three but another trip to the line for Pemberton sealed the win for the Warriors despite Travis Black landing the final score of the game for Swords.


Warriors: Goran Pantovic 19, Trae Pemberton 17, Kieran Donaghy 15

Swords Thunder: Isaac Westbrooks 20, Conroy Baltimore 14, Oisin Kerlin 14

The Warriors progress to the semi final of the Champions Trophy where they will face the newly crowned Super League champions UCD Marian at UL Sport Arena Limerick on Thursday at 8.30pm.

The other side of the semi final line up sees National Cup champions Black Amber Templeogue take on Super League runners up Pyrobel Killester and the final is set to take place in WIT in Waterford this weekend.

Comments are closed.