Coach dismayed after Star suffer a shock reversal against Killester
Belfast Star's play-off hopes are "hanging by a thread", according to coach Darren O'Neill on the back of a shocking loss away to Killester on Saturday night.
Star went down 89-58 to the Dubliners and most worrying for O'Neill must be the way his men capitulated during the first quarter - at one point conceding 18 points without reply. Down 22-8 there was no way back with three quarters remaining.
It is a bizarre turn of events for Star who just before the start of the year seemed to be gaining momentum, helped by the arrival of new American DeAngelo Legrier. But Legrier could only manage a paltry 10 points when he should be delivering at least double that, never mind chalking up his quota of rebounds.
Killester's clinical performance should not be overlooked despite the dismal display from Star, with American Royce Williams top scoring on 21, while Luis Garcia Hoyos hit 19.
"The only positive to take at the moment is that we have two weeks before our next match to sort things out," said O'Neill, who admitted that he and assistant coaches Javan Dupree and Danny Fulton have much to ponder.
"Myself, JD and Danny had a chat after the game and we were just baffled by the performance and most of all the way the defence has played the last two games.
"Of course, when you're not scoring that will feed into your defence and that is something we have to look at, but I was surprised that we showed mental fragility."
He added: "Once things went against us in the first quarter we didn't know how to respond. We just have to sort this out."