Belfast Telegraph

Star men Fulton and Blaylock scoop awards

Delaney Blaylock
Delaney Blaylock
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton and top American Delaney Blaylock have lifted the Basketball Ireland Coach of the Month and Player of the Month awards for December.

Star suffered a disappointing exit from the National Cup in their quarter-final clash with Eanna at the end of November but have since gone unbeaten with four highly impressive victories.

The stand-out highlight of the month was undoubtedly their fantastic festive triumph over Tralee Warriors which took them to the top of the All-Ireland Superleague.

Fulton received great praise for the manner in which he guided his troops to that nail-biting victory over reigning champions Tralee, whom the Belfast man believes are still favourites for the title despite his own men currently sitting in first place.

"I still believe it's the case that whoever finishes above Tralee will be champions," said Fulton, whose side do not play this weekend due to the National Cup semi-finals taking place - which includes Star's Under-18s.

Fulton added: "It would seem with eight games to go there is very little room for error.

"We're top with Tralee with both of us on 10 wins and four defeats and I suspect that Tralee will only suffer one defeat - if that - in their run-in, so we know that every game is critical.

"It's a good position to be in and we just have to keep working hard at what we do best."

The recent run of victories have coincided with the top form of American Blaylock, who in his first year as a professional has proven to be a real gem for the Belfast side.

Last season, Star were delighted with the unrelenting impressive displays by swashbuckling Mike Davis and it was naturally felt he would be a hard act to replace. Blaylock, however, has stepped up and been just as effective - arguably offering more defensively.

Indeed, his overall display in the win over Killester at the weekend was outstanding.

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