Belfast Telegraph

Americans touch down in Belfast and show off their silky skills

 

By David Kelly

Towson University and Manhattan College can be expected to serve up a real treat for the fans at the Hall of Fame Belfast Classic this afternoon in the SSE Arena.

The opening night lived up to all expectations with Manhattan producing an eye-catching display yesterday when they carved up Holy Cross 70-54 to make today's decider.

The swashbuckling standard continued in the second match when Towson University and La Salle went head-to-head in a thrilling encounter.

Zane Martin of Towson stood out as he drove to the basket with real purpose to convert some crucial baskets, while BJ Jonson impressed for La Salle.

There was very little between the two as they fought hard to the final buzzer with the Maryland boys from Towson edging it 67-60.

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill was at courtside for both games and is looking forward to the decider.

"It was a great spectacle. To get to see US college basketball in Belfast is great and nobody would have left disappointed by the talent on display," said O'Neill.

"The first match was a bit one-sided but the second game showed everyone in the arena what college basketball is all about.

"The game went right down to the wire which is what you what you want to see and I have no doubt the final will be very good. I would be leading towards Towson in the final."

While the US College boys are centre stage in the SSE Arena, one of their fellow countrymen DeAngelo LeGrier will be part of the Belfast Star seeking a victory over Kubs in the All Ireland Superleague tomorrow (3.00pm).

Star take on the Dubliners in the Antrim Forum on the back of a loss at the hands of Tralee Warriors. They will be hoping that LeGrier can be an instant hit as they desperately need some fresh firepower.

Star coach O'Neill knows that a victory over Kubs is essential in order to boost their bid for an end-of-season top four spot.

"We're delighted to get our new American in for Sunday's game. DeAngelo is 6ft7 and he is going to give us some intimidation inside which is something that we have lacked," added O'Neill.

"He can give us some easy points which is always crucial."

Belfast Telegraph

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