Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Star need to toughen up: Josep Maria Berracol

Belfast Star suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of Killester on Saturday night and then the dejected players walked into an equally harsh assessment of their performance from coach Josep Maria Berracol.

Berracol could hardly contain his anger over the display by Star at MCB as they went down 78-61, having only trailed 83-80 from the first leg of this National Cup quarter-final.

Trailing 25-10 at the end of the first quarter, the match was effectively over. This largely young Star side looked rudderless in the face of a Killester team oozing class and with a wealth of experience. Killester came out to bully their opponents and they executed immediately, leaving nobody in any doubt they were returning to Dublin with a victory.

Star simply had no answer to Ciaran Roe (24 points and six assists), Michael Bonaparte (18 points) and Isaac Westbrookes to name just three. Star's American Frank Otis top scored for the Belfast men on 20.

Star coach Berracol raged: "That was the real Star out there, they were far too soft.

"The mentality has to change, you can't play like that at this level. Last week they had a good 10 minutes, fought back well when 20 down but you have to play with that intensity, that mentality that you are on the limit all the time.

"You cannot lose a match like that the way we did. If there is one thing that I want to achieve here it is to change the mentality."

The Ulster Rockets had their best win of the campaign so far, winning against Meteors 73-62 in the All Ireland league. Fionnuala Toner top scored on 21.

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